The company behind Scotland’s biggest solar farm is eyeing up a new site in Perthshire.
Elgin Energy recently launched its sun-power park at the Errol Estate, generating enough power for more than 3,500 homes.
Now the firm has unveiled plans for a second multi-million-pound development near Abernethy.
If approved, around 40,000 panels will be installed across 55 acres of sheep-grazing land near Cordon Farm, on the banks of the River Earn.
The 10MW facility would be slightly smaller than the Errol plant, generating power for around 3,000 properties.
UK Government subsidy cuts in the last 10 years made the solar sector less financially viable, and prompted several projects to be cancelled.
But developers say the projects are proof that solar parks can work well in Scotland and will make a “significant” contribution to reversing climate change.
In papers submitted to Perth and Kinross Council, a spokesman for agents Savils said: “The site will have a capacity of approximately 10MW and has the potential to offset approximately 220,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the 30 year period of the development’s operation.
“This is the equivalent to the average annual UK electricity consumption for approximately 3,000 houses.”
The land will remain in agricultural use, with sheep let to graze amongst the panels.
If approved, the park would only take between eight to 12 weeks to put together. During the work, there will be around 240 vehicle movements to and from the site.
After construction, maintenance teams would visit the site every two to three months.
The park will be surrounded by new fencing and protected by CCTV.
A spokesman for Savils added: “The most significant benefit of the proposals is the contribution towards the national and European renewable energy targets and helping to facilitate a transition to a low carbon economy.
“Solar farms are a simple and proven technology providing a source of safe, locally produced renewable energy for many years after construction, with no by-products that cannot simply be recycled.”
He said: “Overall, the environmental enhancements provide better habitats than intensively farmed land, and will result in net improvement in local biodiversity.”
Solar panel installation costs have reduced by around 50% in the last four years and the wholesale price of electricity is anticipated to increase in the longer term.
Elgin Energy’s application for planning consent is being considered by council officers and a ruling is expected in the coming months.