Lightrock develops ground mounted solar farms and storage solutions to provide cheap, renewable electricity to power a healthier society. To do this we assess locations where we can connect to the existing grid infrastructure and seek land that is appropriate.
We then agree terms with a landowner and local distribution network operator and apply for planning permission from the local planning authority to install and operate the project.
Our goal is to become known for developing projects that are an asset to wildlife and their local community. We aim to do this by paying close attention to our three core pillars of environment, economy and ecology. We strive to add benefit to these categories through our projects wherever we possibly can.
Solar is the most abundant energy source in the world, and also one of the cheapest to harvest. The fact that we can do that without emitting Carbon Dioxide means that solar farms are directly helping to improve the UK’s impact on the fight against climate change.
Research has shown that the average carbon payback period for the production and installation of solar panels is 1-4 years. This means that over their lifetime, typically 40 years, each panel will generate zero-carbon and zero-pollution electricity for decades after any carbon emitted in its production has been paid back. As manufacturing processes advance, it is likely that the carbon payback period for solar will decrease further.
As electricity prices soar amid an energy security crisis, renewables can offer hope. Power generated in solar farms will always be cheaper to produce than that generated through burning fossil fuels. Taking back control of our energy supply is the only way to ensure long term energy security. Solar farms are fully subsidy-free so come at no cost to the tax payer.
As well as helping local causes directly, we provide a generous community benefit endowment fund at each of our sites. These are administrated by local Community Foundations and are designed to last in perpetuity, still generating money for local causes long after the solar panels have been recycled.
People are aware of the climate crisis, but the ecological crisis is only now beginning to become more widely understood. One of our key differentiators is that we are seeking to go beyond industry best practice for wildlife and biodiversity. We work directly with the RSPB, to develop solar farms that meet the Fair to Nature Standard. In addition to this, we have a number of wildlife charities and Trusts helping us to design projects that seek to be best-in-class, in the hope of raising the industry standard across the board.
We have a mean biodiversity net gain of over 100% – that means we are more than doubling the biodiversity opportunities at our sites.
We also engage with local communities much earlier than some other developers, more on this can be found on our communities page.
We do this so that communities can genuinely shape the design of the project. Some developers are accused of seeing community consultation as a ‘tick box’ exercise but that is certainly not the case for us.