There is little doubt that the world now needs to make a transition to a low-carbon future. Both anecdotal personal experiences and rigorous scientific evidence point to the great risks of failing to address climate change; at the same time, local, low-carbon sources of energy can provide many benefits such as local employment, community income and cohesion, and energy security.
The government recognises this and offers 20-year incentive regimes for renewable energy generation, which our project will be able to access.
The Cuckmere solar farm will be near the village of Berwick in East Sussex between Lewes and Eastbourne. See this link for its location.
The site was carefully chosen to minimise its effect on the local community. See the Statement of Visual Impact to learn about the way the site will be concealed from view.
Our project is a pioneer in the UK’s growing renewables sector – the first solar farm of its kind to be owned in part by both a commercial developer and a community company. This is the future – people want to move away from remote impersonal energy suppliers towards local energy projects, and government has signaled its intention to legislate in this direction if energy developers fail to engage communities. We know that our project has been monitored closely by government as a national precedent.
Our commercial partners have installed their solar farm adjacent to our site and it is there that will connect our solar farm to the grid. Before then we need planning permission and an application has been submitted. If successful, we will need for investment to build the solar farm.
We plan to build the solar farm in the first quarter of 2016.
Throughout this project we are seeking a balance; in the financial area this is between investor returns and ‘community dividend’ – the surplus we will generate each year, with which we can do good things in our communities.