Dorset County Council solar farms to power nearly 10,000 homes

Plans to generate solar power on land owned by Dorset County Council would generate solar energy for nearly 10,000 homes, the authority has claimed.

Solar panels would be installed at 11 farms, owned by the council, covering a total area of about 67 hectares under plans approved by the council cabinet.

The revenue raised from the energy produced could make up to a 9% return on capital invested.

County leader Robert Gould said the energy scheme received "great support".

'Even spread'

"We're hoping to make some significant contributions to our energy needs and our contribution to CO2 emissions," he added.

The County Farm estate, currently comprising of 47 farms, has been owned by the council for the past 100 years to help local people set up farming businesses.

He insisted the solar installations would be an "additional activity" to agriculture on the land.

"It will never be the prime purpose of the county farm estate - agriculture and helping people into the farming industry," he said.

A full business plan will now be created for 3MW sites on 11 of the 47 county council-owned farms.

The locations of the specific shortlisted sites will be made public once full assessments have been carried out and planning applications are in place.

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