Solar power

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The works of art that can charge your phone

BBC Spotlight

solar art

Two artists from Devon have launched a project to turn solar power into an art form.

Chloe Uden and Naomi Wright have set up the community interest company Art and Energy, and have been given EU funding to develop a more aesthetically pleasing way of harnessing the power of the sun.

Ideas include fashioning panels in the shape of flowers and being able to charge a mobile phone from a solar powered sculpture.

people looking at artwork
Batteries and converters are connected to solar cells, so people can charge their devices from works of art

One of the main complaints that people have is about the look of solar panels. I think most people agree that solar panels are fantastic and brilliant and an important part of dealing with the climate emergency, but people hadn't really thought about the problem of how solar panels can be more beautiful."

Chloe UdenArtist

The new solar artworks will be on display at Kaleider Studios in Exeter on 15 and 16 March.

solar art
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Solar farm approved

A solar farm on a 50-acre site at Shadoxhurst has been given council approval.

The site at Blindgrooms Lane was purchased by Ashford Borough Council in 2017 and is currently used for grazing which would continue when the farm is operational, the council said.

The power generated by the solar farm will feed into the National Grid.

A council spokesman said: "Cabinet has agreed that, subject to planning approval and public consultation, a solar farm is the optimal use for the site and would provide a significant income stream while having a low environmental impact."

A local consultation is due to take place which will lead to a formal planning application.

The council estimates the project could generate £7m over a 25-year period.

Blindgoorms Lane, Shadoxhurst
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