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Energy giant pulls plug on Angus solar farm project

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Plans for a giant Angus solar farm have been scrapped.

Energy giant Lightsource BP said it had ruled out the 120-hectare site bordering the southern edge of the Piperdam leisure resort following talks with locals.

It comes just weeks after a community consultation was held on the proposed 49.99 megawatt scheme, which first emerged in November.

The Binns site for the proposed solar farm

Developers said the scheme would have provided enough power for 14,621 households and the equivalent of taking more than 3,916 large family cars off the road.

Conor McGuigan, Lightsource BP’s director of business development for Europe, said: “We have informed Angus Council that we do not intend to progress with plans for a solar farm on land off Berryhill Road, near Fowlis.

“The project was in the early stages of exploration and development, with preliminary investigations and community engagement conducted over the past months.

“When developing a new solar farm, one of our main priorities is making sure that the project is suitable for its local area.”

He added: “In the case of Berryhill Road, while our initial investigations were favourable, meeting members of the community provided us with vital local knowledge regarding the proposed site and its immediate surroundings.

“This additional information, in combination with our environmental assessments, suggested to us that the Berryhill Road site was not suitable for the proposed installation.

“We considered the possibility of amending the site design and removing certain fields, but unfortunately this would have resulted in insufficient land for a viable project, and ultimately we took the decision not to proceed.”

Mr McGuigan said Lighthouse BP remained dedicated to progressing solar power in Scotland and “will continue actively seeking suitable projects for development”.

He thanked everyone in the local community who provided feedback on the proposals and attended the community consultation event in February.

Lightsource BP initially said the fields proposed to house the project were chosen because they are “well-screened by surrounding hedgerows and trees, so the surrounding area will have a limited view of the solar installation”.

The panels would have been enclosed by a timber and wire agricultural fence about two metres in height, and CCTV cameras would have monitored the boundary fence and area inside.

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