Arbroath solar panels to power Montrose?

Owner of BWE Partnership Ron Shanks with Robert and Brenda Jackson who farm at New Mains of Guynd
Owner of BWE Partnership Ron Shanks with Robert and Brenda Jackson who farm at New Mains of Guynd

One of Scotland’s first commercial-scale solar parks that could provide the energy for a town the size of Montrose is to be built in Angus.

Aberdeen-based BWE Partnership has announced that work is set to commence on the construction of one of the site located on farmland in Carmyllie, Arbroath.

The company is set to begin construction of a 9.5 MW, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) park on the 50 acre site at the end of 2015. The project has the potential to produce enough energy to power around 6,670 homes once operational, the equivalent to a town the size of Montrose.

New Mains of Guynd Solar Park will be located on land leased from Robert and Brenda Jackson who farm at New Mains of Guynd. The project has all of the appropriate legal agreements in place, including full planning permission granted by Angus Council in October 2014.

Securing a connection to the electrical grid can be a major challenge in a project of this type, however BWE Partnership has a 9.5 MW connection agreement with Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution. With this confirmed, the solar park is on schedule to be constructed and 
generating electricity early next year.

Owner of BWE Partnership, Ron Shanks, said: “This is an exciting time for BWE Partnership as we enter the construction stage of delivering what we believe is Scotland’s first large commercial solar park.

“This site was selected because of its excellent levels of irradiance which is vital to the effectiveness of a solar park as this powers the entire project.

“Scotland continues to build a strong reputation in the renewable energy sector and the build of this solar park will represent a significant step forward.

“We hope solar in Scotland will help to compliment onshore wind in providing 
renewable energy for our country and look forward 
to this project coming to 
fruition.”

With green energy generation meeting the equivalent of almost half of Scotland’s needs in 2014, it has recently emerged as the country’s largest source of power. The UK government has also hailed solar photovoltaics (PV) as an instrumental part of reaching renewables targets laid out for 2020.

BWE Partnership works closely with landowners to identify if a potential site meets a number of requirements, such as irradiance levels, grid connection and whether it is likely to receive planning permission.

Successful sites can benefit from a monthly rental over a 25-year period to house a solar park, and can simultaneously utilise the land for grazing.

Kevin Jackson, partner of the family farm, said: “I am delighted that New Mains of Guynd is playing a key part in this large scale development for renewables in Scotland.

“This agreement with BWE Partnership will allow us to maximise income generation from our land without hindering day-to-day activities.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the solar park installed and operating.”