Adrian Lea, Manager of Cornwall Council’s Natural Resources Planning Team, has his work cut out for him as he faces the arduous task of processing over 50 planning requests for solar power projects in the UK county. Presenting at the inaugural Solar Power UK Conference, which was held in London earlier this week, Lea documented the planning requirements for large-scale PV power plants in the county. He also noted that over 50 projects had been handled by his office by early October this year, and that 17 new requests have been received in the last week alone.
Some of these proposals could well be from SunPower Corp., as reported by local online media. Sean Murphy, SunPower's Chief Technology Strategist, seems to have been busy selecting 20 possible sites in Cornwall for PV power plants.
Murphy was quoted as saying that the company is close to securing land use at three sites in Cornwall: Callestick, near Truro; Constantine, near Falmouth; and another in Wadebridge.
Due to the structure of the FiT in the UK, a 5MW limit is in place for any given plant, though legal definitions are currently under review due to the lack of clarity over whether potential interconnecting 5MW plants can be deployed under the rules.
Murphy said that a 5MW plant could typically employ 100 people, suggesting that SunPower might be working to the 5MW rule for planned sites in the UK. He also said that SunPower was looking at developing five or six projects per year in Cornwall.
Further details of SunPower's project pipeline can be accessed on PV-Tech's sister site, Solar Power Portal UK.