An information evening was held this week for residents in Crumlin to find out more about the proposals and final plans for new solar farms on land south of the Moira Road and north of 20 Knockcairn Road.
The proposed site close to Dundrod will sit adjacent to the Lightsource solar farm at Knockcairn, which has received planning permission.
The two solar farms will operate independently on different landholdings, but will share a connection point to electricity grid. Currently used as a grazing pasture, the solar farm is being designed to allow agricultural activities to continue alongside the generation of renewable energy.
The entire solar farm site would be seeded with species-rich grass including the area underneath the panels. Wide field margins and gaps between the rows of panels would allow small livestock, such as sheep or chickens, to graze on the solar farm.
Conor McGuigan, Planning and Development Director at Lightsource, said at the information evening at the leisure centre in Crumlin: “We had a great response to the plans for the site off Knockcairn Road and we believe that the proposed site will demonstrate even further that solar energy can work hand in hand with agriculture to provide a source of both food and clean electricity.
“It is the ability to generate clean, safe electricity whilst maintaining a respect for rural traditions that makes solar power such a viable source. Once a solar farm is installed it is passive in nature. There are no moving parts, they create no noise and maintenance of the site is minimal.”