Former Doncaster pit site set for solar power farm

A man puts solar panels in place at a site in the UK
A man puts solar panels in place at a site in the UK

Plans for a 25-acre solar electricity farm on former Thorne Colliery land in Moorends have been given the go-ahead.

The authority has backed the scheme, which will generate around 5 megawatts of power, according to the developer behind the plans, RES.

The company has now pledged to plough thousands of pounds into the community in return to its hosing the site, which will consist of solar panels.

Eliot Davies, RES Solar Developer, said: “The project gained a lot of support locally and we are delighted that Doncaster Council agrees that the Thorne Colliery site offers an excellent opportunity to generate renewable electricity using the power of the sun, continuing the tradition of using this land as an important source of energy.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported our proposal. RES will continue to work with local people to maximise the community benefits that Thorne Colliery Solar Farm can deliver.”

During public consultation about the project in 2014, RES asked residents how the solar farm could deliver a genuine benefit to the local community. The most popular suggestion was for the project to support the work of the Moorends Miners Welfare and Community Centre.

Mr Davies added: “We held our public exhibition at the Moorends Community Centre and have been back since to learn more about the work they do. It is clear that the Centre is an essential part of the local community and provides everything from general counselling to specific skills training. It is also an important meeting place and provides a venue for all sorts of social events. We are delighted that Thorne Colliery Solar Farm is going ahead because it means we can donate £25,000 to the Centre. We hope this will go some way towards securing the future of this vital community facility.”

The details of the construction programme for Thorne Colliery Solar Farm have yet to be finalised, but RES estimates that the solar farm will be generating sufficient renewable electricity to power more than 1,000 UK homes by the end of 2015.

The scheme comes hot on the heels of another similar scheme in Sykehouse, also in Doncaster, where plans for a 980 panel solar farm on countryside land where given the approval of Doncaster Council planning committee last month.

That scheme, at Oaktree Farm, Oak Lane, Sykehouse, was given the go-ahead despite ahead despite being classed as ‘an inappropriate form of development in the countryside’

But a document which was discussed by councillors said: “On balance, the benefits of the scheme in terms of renewable energy provision outweigh the harm to the countryside.”

Construction of the solar farm in Sykehouse is expected to take five weeks, according to experts.

Click here to read about plans for solar farm in Sykehouse