We consider many key drivers when planning a solar farm, including the following:
There is a legal requirement that the land is returned to its original condition at the end of our lease and money is set aside to ensure this can happen. Our panels are mounted on pile driven frames that cause minimum disturbance to the land and can be easily removed.
Like any other electrical waste, solar panels need to be disposed of responsibly.
In Europe over 70% of PV manufacturers take part in a global PV CYCLE Network that helps producers meet the legal obligations of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive legislation. As members of this initiative, producers are actively engaged in the sustainability of their product during manufacturing and throughout its lifespan. Components of the panels are broken down and recycled, not just disposed of.
Natural habitat is a key focus for us, and we have partnered with the RSPB to make sure we get it right. As well as reinforcing existing hedgerows and planting new ones, we plant trees, sow native grass and flower mixes and manage the field margins to provide habitat for pollinators and small birds and mammals. Amphibian habitat is retained and protected in existing hedges, ditches and ponds, and cuttings from around the site are used to make habitat piles for the benefit of invertebrates, small mammals and reptiles. Where there are local populations of barn owls we provide opportunities for them to nest onsite. Whilst the deer fencing is designed to keep deer away from the electrical equipment (for their safety and to prevent damage), roe deer are commonly found ‘inside the fence’ on solar farms and are quite content. The fencing has a 15cm gap at the base to allow small animals such as hedgehogs to pass under, and regular mammal gates for larger animals to enter and leave the site.
Alongside solar panels, there will be:
All electrical and electronic devices create electromagnetic fields or EMF around them when used and also emit electromagnetic radiation or EMR. This includes solar panels and solar inverters as well as most electrical devices in our homes – televisions, radios, fridges and mobile phones. It’s the level and type of EMR that is important. EMR from solar panels and solar inverters is non-ionizing and is well within national health based guidelines. Refer to the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation (ICNIRP) for more details about EMF and EMR in our daily lives www.icnirp.org.