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‘Clean’ power for town

13:26 13 April 2014

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A solar farm developer says that a new array north of Bystock would produce enough ‘clean’ electricity to power up to 15 per cent of Exmouth’s households or 1,895 homes.

Conor McGuigan, planning and development director of Lightsource Renewable Energy, says that the array, on two fields, would also boost business and ‘bio diversity’.

It follows a drop-in session held at Knappe Cross Community Centre on Tuesday.

Mr McGuigan said that they needed residents to provide local knowledge to help the designs, wildlife enthusiasts, security personnel, traffic, fencing, storage and landscaping experts.

He said: “Only third of the land actually contains any infrastructure, so the majority of the space is left completely open and uncovered.

“This creates an abundance of open grassland, which can be utilised for agriculture, planting, seeding and enhancing wildlife habitats – all of which needs to be carefully planned, implemented and looked after in the long term.”

He said there were many ways people could get involved, from the point of design through to construction and monitoring the wildlife habitats.

Designs are available to view online on Lightsource’s website, and he added: “We have chosen to progress with our proposal for Bystock Farm because it is exceptionally well screened by surrounding woodland.

“The solar farm would not be visible from the area at all due to the thick tree cover.

“We will retain all of the existing trees and hedgerows and are working with ecologists to devise plans for new hedgerows, wild flowers and thickets, which will benefit the species present in the fields and complement the work of the nearby reserves and wildlife sites.”

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