Work to begin on eight megawatt solar farm near Hanson Cement in Ketton

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A solar farm that would power homes, businesses and a neighbouring cement works could be built by the end of the year.

Lark Energy, based in Market Deeping, has been granted planning permission to create the farm on land near Pit Lane, Ketton.

If a condition on drainage is approved by Rutland County Council, the firm will be able to start installing the 38,544 panels. Once complete, the solar farm will generate about eight megawatt hours of electricity.

The land is owned by Hanson Cement, which would take 35 per cent of the energy produced by the farm. The rest would be fed into the National Grid.

Hanson Cement communications manager David Weeks said the site had been split into two sections and preliminary work on the first had already begun.

He added: “We are hoping to have it up and running by the end of the year. It’s full steam ahead.”

The solar farm will have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. It will be built by Lark Energy but owned by a separate investor.

Last year villagers launched a campaign against proposals to build two wind turbines in the village, but the solar farm plan has attracted less concern.

An exhibition was held in March and the only issue raised was about the possible impact on bats living near the site.

Mr Weeks said: “The beauty of the site is that, unlike where other renewables have been proposed around the area, it is well hidden.

“The panels will be invisible to people but will be generating a vast amount of electricity.”

The Larkfleet Group already uses solar panels at its premises in Bourne and Market Deeping.

Last week Mosscliff Environmental revealed its intention to submit a planning application for a 74-acre solar park off South Fen Road, leading to Long Drove Road, in Bourne.