Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire solar farm boss doubts future projects

The boss of a new 20,000-panel solar farm in Lincolnshire says government cuts to green energy subsidies could "strangle" future projects.

Fen Farm Sun Park in Conisholme will generate enough electricity from the solar panels and 20 wind turbines to power 10,000 homes a year.

From 1 August, Feed-In Tariffs from large-scale solar projects will be capped, making it unfeasible for some.

Ecotricity's managing director Dale Vince said the cuts were bad news.

"If this is the greenest government ever, why are they strangling our solar industry at birth?" said Mr Vince.

"Only large-scale solar installations can generate enough energy to make solar a serious part of Britain's energy mix and provide the long term economic benefits which are evident in other countries."

'Left unchecked'

The government's cuts were prompted by fears that commercial-scale solar schemes would cash in on Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) which pay people for the electricity they generate from small scale renewables.

FITs have been capped for projects above 50kw, the equivalent to panels on about 20 houses.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Energy and Climate Control said: " If left unchecked, large-scale solar would overwhelm the FITs scheme, increasing costs to the consumer and denying ordinary people a chance to benefit from clean energy generation.

"The new tariff levels we have proposed will ensure a sustained growth path for the solar industry while protecting the money for householders, small businesses and communities."

Power generation at Fen Farm Sun Park began on Thursday.

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