Ground mounted solar FAQs
There are three main reasons:
1. This council takes the threat of global warming very seriously and wants to do all it can to protect us in the future. The council is already putting solar panels on the roofs of its buildings and, it hopes will make it possible to put wind turbines up in the future. Solar farms are another thing it can do to help.
2. A lot of people in Hastings struggle to pay their electricity bills. If the council can generate enough electricity it may be able to help people with more affordable power in the future.
3. Because we are getting more and more electronic devices like computers and smart phones we are using more power than ever. Soon everyone will have electric cars as well, which will make things even worse. If we don't make more power in the local area we will have to have more dirty power stations somewhere and bigger cables laid into Hastings to carry more power. These will be very expensive.
The council can sell the electricity from the solar farms to pay for them and we hope they will end up making some money which can be put back into other services.
No. At the moment the council has only committed to developing its ideas for solar farms. It will consider those ideas again around June or July 2019. What this means is that we are getting experts opinions on subjects like wildlife and electrical connections.
We are currently looking for around 10 acres on land within the Country Park and a further 5 acres on land the council owns near Crowhurst. A football pitch is around 2 acres so these are not huge areas. The business case may end up suggesting larger or smaller areas.
The council owns the land we are considering and solar farms in these locations would be simple to connect to the national grid. We have looked at other places the council owns but the connection costs are too high.
There was pollution of the area about 20 years ago caused by farming on the land we are considering. Although the pollution problem has passed we think the land here is poor. We hope that solar panels will help improve wildlife and soil quality.
Natural England says that there is no proof one way or another that solar farms hurt plants or animals in this country. We are asking Natural England for their advice during the process of planning for these solar farms.
Solar farms make very low levels of noise when they are working during the day. The noise level is about the same as a small bird call. At night they are not working.
We are not thinking of using chemicals at the moment. Our idea is to mount the solar panels on frames that will allow sheep to graze around them and keep the grass down.
Solar panels do change the landscape. We are having drawings made of the proposed solar farm which people will be able to look at and make comment on.
Solar farms are considered temporary structures and will be removed when their useful life is over. They make no permanent change to the landscape.
The land at Pebsham is still sinking so any solar panels put on them may break. We are monitoring this site and will consider using it again in the future.
We do not think that the council owns any other land which is more suitable than these sites to put solar farms on. If anyone has land they would like to suggest and where the owner is in agreement please let us know. We will consider those sites and see if we can put solar panels on them, as well.
Yes they are but this does not mean that solar farms can’t be built here. We will be asking the proper authorities for their views and advice as the project progresses.
Natural England has been asked for their opinion on these plans. They say that at the moment there is not enough information for them to make a comment. They have asked us to provide more information. You can see what we asked Natural England and what they said here.
We will take comments at any time if you email firstname.lastname@example.org. When our plans are more developed we will hold a public planning forum where people will be able to come and discuss plans with officers of the council. We will publish dates for this nearer the time. Your views will be represented to the council when they make decisions about next steps.
Ground mounted solar FAQs