A MASSIVE solar farm stretching the equivalent of 61 football fields could be set to power more than 9,000 homes.

If given the green light, the Rayleigh solar farm would sit next to the A127, just by Great Wheatley Road, with the train line from Rayleigh station also running parallel to the proposed site.

The development, by Aura Power, would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of more than 9,400 homes and would save an estimated 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

When it comes to the equivalent number of electric cars powered per year, this is enough for a whopping 13,590.

With Essex County Council committed to making the county carbon neutral by 2050, it’s hoped the solar farm - with a capacity of up to 30MW - could “help in this vital challenge”.

Simon Coulson, director of Aura Power, said: “The south coast of Essex is already at risk from rising sea levels due to climate change, but as one of the sunniest counties in England we can help mitigate this with carbon-free solar energy.

“The site we are proposing for Rayleigh solar farm is well suited for this type of development as it is sandwiched between a busy road and the railway line, with good natural screening which can be enhanced with new trees and hedgerows to hide it from many nearby homes.”


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The chosen site is close to the Rayleigh electricity substation, allowing an easy connection to the grid.

But Jon Fuller, of South East Essex Friends of the Earth, would prefer to see panels put on the roofs of industrial properties and homes - fearing the move would reduce the space available for wildlife and crops.

James Newport, councillor for Downhall and Rawreth, added: “On the surface when people look at solar farms you could say this is brilliant and great for the environment.

“But we do need to look at the long term effects of this and is there a wider impact for the area.”

Arthur Williams, portfolio holder for environment, said: “I think it will be a great asset for the area. We certainly need to reduce our carbon footprint and this sounds like a fantastic way of doing this.”

An online consultation, using Zoom, will be held on September 14 at 6pm.

Visit https://www.aurapower.co.uk/rayleigh-solar-farm/