St Martin’s Solar Power Project To Go Before Planners

A major solar power generating project is being proposed on St Martins.

If planners approve it, an array of solar panels covering an area 49m long and 7m wide would be set up in a field near the school and Lawrence’s Beach.

The sandy field is leased to Jonathan Smith and was once used to grow fodder crops but it’s said to be difficult for crop growing and hasn’t been used for over 20 years.

The solar garden would supply the entire annual electricity requirements of more than 11 households. A proportion of the electricity produced will be consumed in a nearby property and the majority exported to the grid and used by properties nearest to the transformer so it’s likely most of it will be used on St Martin’s.

The project has been devised by the Isles of Scilly Renewable Energy Cooperative and their vision is that the islands would all generate their own electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind or wave power.

The application says that, to some people, the panels would be seen as intrusive and the reflection from certain angles could be a nuisance but the applicants claim others would view them as an important part of the sustainable future.

The applicants says that they will not be seen from the sea or the beach because of the Sand Dunes in front but the top part of the panels will be noticeable from St Mary’s, around Helvear and Telegraph.

Duchy Land Steward Chris Gregory is quoted as saying that he is supportive of the potential of the scheme.