Kentford: 4,000 square metre solar panel array will boost farm’s green credentials

Solar panels

Solar panels - Credit: Archant

A 4,000 square metre solar panel array is hoped to be installed on a farm in Kentford.

The panels will be used to primarily power the irrigation pump at the Herringswell Road site, in a bid to save money and boost the farm’s green credentials.

If planning permission is granted, the array will be installed by Norfolk based Abel Energy, who are agents for the applicant.

The founder and managing director of the company, Chris Abel, said: “It is only a 250 kilowatt peak system to power a water pump for the irrigation.

“It is not like the bigger solar parks which are just purely exporting [electricity].

“It is dependent on the weather conditions, if it is dry then there will be more usage, but most of the energy will be used on site.

“I am not entirely sure on the figures, but at the big solar parks that export, something like a third of the energy is lost in transport.

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“By using it on site, the loss is far less, so it is more efficient. If we get planning permission it will take us three to four weeks to install.”

The 30-year-old Mr Abel founded his company four years ago in response to a rising demand for agricultural and commercial uses for solar energy.

He said: “We have done quite a lot around East Anglia for similar agricultural uses. We have got one just near us in Watton that we installed.

“Farms are under increasing pressure to go down the renewable sources route.

“A lot of markets are calling for farms who source sustainably. We are seeing an increasing demand.”

Mr Abel explained that solar energy is well suited to irrigation, with the pump needed most when the weather is dry in the summer and the days are longer.

He added: “It is about saving money and becoming green, offsetting the carbon footprint.”

More details about the application can be found on Forest Heath District Council website using the reference DC/14/1424/FUL.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the application can do so by contacting Forest Heath District Council by October 7 this year or visiting their website.