Council gives solar energy park plan the go-aheadJun 10, 2013
Borough councillors have given planning consent for the project, which will be built on 27 hectares of land at Glebe Farm. It will be one of the biggest schemes of its kind in the UK.
Work is due to begin in October, with the 15MW park planned to start operations in April.
The scheme has been developed by Edinburgh-based vento ludens, which is developing a similar park at Podington. The firm plans to use local contractors where possible and consultation with the local community will continue as the park is developed, said a spokesman.
vento ludens managing director Dr Jay Butler added: “We believe that large-scale solar projects can become significant power sources for our common future.
"While wind and solar remain the principal focus of our business plan, we are keen to explore other areas of renewables generation to ensure that we are using all of the natural resources available to us in Scotland and the UK to create clean energy.”
The UK government has set a target of having four million homes powered by the sun and 20 Gigawatts of installed solar power capacity by 2020.
The Glebe Farm project has been done in collaboration with Dulas, a highly experienced renewable energy project management company.
Its chief executive Sanjay Bowry said: “We are excited to be working with vento ludens on this scheme which will make a significant contribution to the provision of clean, green renewable energy in the UK.
“This scheme will also contribute greatly to the impending UK energy gap due to the planned decommissioning of up to 22 GW of conventional power generation over the next five years.”
The scheme at Bedford will increase the capacity of renewables in the area by nearly 25% and could also result in a significant offset reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Planning permission was granted after a comprehensive public consultation.
The solar park is one of vento ludens’ first ventures into this sphere of power generation. Until now, the company has focused primarily on wind farms and has several projects in development in Scotland. It is developing another solar park in Germany.
vento ludens (translated from Latin as ‘he who plays with wind’) is the UK arm of an international group of companies which has been working successfully as a developer, investor and operator of renewable energy installations since 2000 and with first activities starting in Scotland in 2005.