Sunnica Solar Farm

By Paul Homewood

Homeowners and farmers are being threatened with having their land effectively confiscated to make way for solar farms to meet Britain’s net zero target, The Telegraph can disclose.

Energy firm Sunnica has submitted plans to build a 2,792 acre solar farm and energy storage infrastructure on the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire borders.

If the Planning Inspectorate recommends to ministers that the plans should be given the go-ahead later this year, it will be the largest solar farm built in the UK so far, providing power for 100,000 homes.

But MPs and residents living in many of the small villages in the area have decried proposals by Sunnica to use compulsory purchase orders for land on which it needs access and where it cannot reach a negotiated settlement with owners.

This would include significant sections of land under which to lay electricity cables connecting the solar panels and battery storage units to the Burwell National Grid Substation in Cambridgeshire.

It could also see the compulsory purchase of land to create wider roads and access points to allow construction of the huge project, which is equivalent to the size of 2,115 football pitches.

The company stated that it “requires powers of compulsory acquisition to ensure that the scheme can be built, maintained and operated, and so that the Government’s policies in relation to the timely delivery of new generating capacity and achieving ambitious net zero targets are met.”

‘Completely wrong’

Matt Hancock MP, the former health secretary, who along with Lucy Frazer, a Treasury minister, represents the area earmarked for the development, told The Telegraph: “By attempting to force through unpopular proposals they [Sunnica] damage the case for delivering the renewables we need.

“I support solar developments locally where they are in the right place, with the support of us locally. The way Sunnica has gone about this is completely wrong.”

More than a dozen land and property owners are thought to be holding out against Sunnica’s attempt to acquire “an interest” in their land in order to lay cables and gain or improve access to the sites on which the solar farm would be built.

In all these cases Sunnica say “no progress” is being made in negotiations, indicating they may need to move to compulsory purchase.

‘We’ll be sitting next to a ticking time bomb’

Richard Tuke, a landowner who is refusing to allow 800 acres of his land at Freckenham to be used by Sunnica, stated in a consultation document: “Our withdrawal from the scheme does not prevent Sunnica from including our land in their submission to the Inspectorate nor does it stop them from applying for compulsory powers to purchase our land should they choose to do so.

“We have however written the Inspectorate formally telling them that Sunnica are including our land without permission.”

Local views ‘squeezed out’

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, which supports solar power in brownfield sites, has criticised Sunnica for pursuing its plans through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime, saying “this risks squeezing local views and local scrutiny out of the decision-making process”.

It added: “It’s worrying that the applicant is also proposing to apply for Compulsory Purchase Orders where it can’t reach a negotiated settlement with affected landowners.”

Critics have also decried the size of the solar farm on what is open agricultural land and the potential danger of the large lithium-ion battery units needed to store the electricity generated by solar panels before transfer to the National Grid. In recent years similar battery units have been involved in fires and explosions in Britain and abroad.

Critics have also decried the size of the solar farm on what is open agricultural land

Mr Hancock said: “Even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy can see that putting a huge battery farm right next to villages is a bad idea. Those behind this proposal have completely failed to bring the community with them, refused to attend all the key meetings and haven’t even tried to win over local support.”

South Korea saw 23 battery farm fires in just two years and a recent battery fire in Illinois burned for three days, with thousands of residents evacuated. Lithium-ion batteries used in solar farm energy storage systems were deemed an “unacceptable risk” in Arizona after causing two serious ­fires in 2019.

In Merseyside, one of three battery cabins on a site caught fire and exploded in 2020 and nearby residents were ordered to stay indoors.

Solar farm battery units are not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations and are unregulated under UK law.

Risk of explosions and toxic gas

Professor Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University, and a panel of experts last year warned that with the potential for huge explosions, fires and clouds of toxic gas, they could devastate towns and villages nearby.

The solar farm will be 500MW, but on average will only operate at about 60MW. In other words, it is miniscule in energy terms, despite its industrial scale footprint of 2115 football pitches. You would, for instance need 33 of these monstrosities to provide the same amount of power as a 2GW gas power station such as Carrington, (which you would need anyway to provide backup!).

It is hard to comprehend the size when expressed in acres, but one acre = 1/640th of a square mile.

Therefore Sunnica will be over 4 square miles.

The construction alone, which will take three years, will be massively disruptive to locals, and as the article points out the battery storage situated just a mile away from one of the villages is an accident waiting to happen.

There is something drastically wrong with our planning system, if industrial developments like Sunnica can take place in the middle of pristine countryside without locals having any say in the matter.

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John Pickens
January 16, 2022 10:06 pm

Just think how many enslaved Uighurs will be out of work if this solar scheme is thwarted!

Reply to  John Pickens
January 17, 2022 12:28 am

Just think of all the electronic devices in your home which have minerals mined by slaves. I don’t see you protesting those.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:39 am

A phone

Er that’s it. I do have a petrol car and valve amps

Sensible things

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:48 am

Remember we are bad people we don’t care.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:00 am

Yes Griff but we don’t claim to be virtue signaling and saving the planet. Does the extreme inefficiency of these things-around 12% in our UK Climate-not bother you or the subsidies they will farm?

Rich Davis
Reply to  tonyb
January 17, 2022 3:05 am

Of course he isn’t bothered by it, all great religious sites need to clear out the stinking peasants before construction can commence.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:01 am

And your home has none of those items of course.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dennis
January 17, 2022 3:15 am

No, no, you misunderstand. The Ends, dear boy! The ends justify the means. If they ground up a Uyghur for every panel, well that’s just the way it is. Nothing to be done about it, be a lamb and don’t mention it, will you?

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 2:24 am

Griff, put your money where your mouth is and desist from using all electronic devices. We would then be spared your inanities.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  buckeyebob
January 17, 2022 3:10 am

He must also stop use of all fossil fuels- and any product made with them.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 3:02 am

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Climate believer
Reply to  HotScot
January 17, 2022 4:05 am

Exactly, Grifter exemplifying the lefts usual level of sympathy, none.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 5:06 am

Yes. So, using your own “logic”, if there are already 100 enslaved Uighers, why not 1,000, or 10,000. I mean, it’s the same thing, right?

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 6:39 am

Griff, set the example for the rest of us. Divest of all your fossil fuel derived products. That would pretty much leave ya naked and out of touch with everyone, cuz almost everything we use in today’s world is derived from the “evil” oil.
That fact has always just cracked me up when the zealots start their screeching. Sorta like you, Griff. I find you amusing in a sad sort of way.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 9:05 am

Sounds like you are supporting slave labour and presumably also the environmental devastation the mining of rare earth metals causes. Good of you to be so honest.

Reply to  griff
January 18, 2022 1:25 pm

Just think of all the electronic devices in your home which have minerals mined by slaves.”

What a catty spiteful utterly stupid ignorant remark!

I have a few electronic devices. All but two are plain electronic devices without the expensive rare Earth minerals.

“Sunnica will be over 4 square miles”

A blighted four square miles to produce a miniscule trickle of electricity only during clear days, when the sun actually shines between 10AM and 4PM.
Ruining the land it covers for many more years than it will produce electricity..

And somehow, giffie poo feels justified to whine about devices that fantasized devices exist, yet giffie is absolutely ignorant about.
A spiteful catty whine without merit or value of any sort.

Stuff it, giffie excrement.
You are an ignorant shameful embarrassment to humankind.

Besides, China cornered the rare Earth market by undercutting rare Earth mines and miners worldwide.
China does not own all of the world’s rare Earth mines. Their misuse and enslavement of humans should be vilified worldwide. Not tolerated by bought and paid corrupt governments.

When China runs out of rare Earth sources, it will be an opportunity for the world’s countries.

george lanham
Reply to  griff
January 19, 2022 2:32 am

Installing PV in England is like buying a Ferrari to run around the farm.
It’s a waste.

Martin Pinder
Reply to  george lanham
January 21, 2022 11:54 am

Good point.

Reply to  John Pickens
January 17, 2022 1:00 am

You must understand that those people are pioneers, they are testing the WEF theory that one day people will own nothing and be happier.

And I add, all people will be equal, others will be more equal and manage the workers.


Reply to  John Pickens
January 17, 2022 1:03 am

If you are a guardian reader like Griff apparently it’s gravity energy storage where all the action and kickbacks are. The gruniard is pushing the junk hard.

Reply to  LdB
January 17, 2022 2:30 am

Storage for a half dozen houses

January 16, 2022 10:15 pm

What a terrible blight on the countryside. Who’s dumb idea is net zero?

Reply to  Derg
January 16, 2022 10:26 pm

As deepthroat is alleged to have stated, “Follow the money”.

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
January 17, 2022 12:00 am

They should just suspend Solar Panels 10 meters above all the roadways in all the cities.
Shoot, if Solar Panels are the way to go, Charles should demonstrate his total belief in them and plan to cover ALL Royal Estates with panels from fence line to fence line once Mum is gone. He could even try to convince her to start the process.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bryan A
January 17, 2022 3:14 am

oh, I’d love to see solar “farms” wrapped around Royal Estates- the Queen should announce that this will happen ASAP- after all, it’s to save the planet!

some nice 500+ foot tall wind turbines too

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bryan A
January 17, 2022 4:17 am

I thought Charles got demoted?

Andy Wilkins
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 17, 2022 6:19 am

Nah, that’s Randy Andy (as he’s always been know here in the UK). Photos of him back in the 90s with his arm around teenage girls procured by Epstein and Maxwell has made him a complete pariah.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Andy Wilkins
January 17, 2022 8:46 am

Yes, he should have stuck with the porn star, Koo Stark.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 17, 2022 9:06 am

I’d forgotten about Koo Stark. Now there’s a step back in time!

Reply to  Derg
January 17, 2022 3:26 am

It is Marc Carney’s belief. Canadian Ex-BofE chief, now UN Climate Finance czar.
Speech here , 2019 :

At COP26 a Bloomberg interview :

GFANZ, Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero, cost – $100 TRILLION, openly ‘splained.

Reply to  Derg
January 17, 2022 9:22 am

Someone who knows that the locals are unarmed.

Zig Zag Wanderer
January 16, 2022 10:22 pm

Already there is too much solar in the UK, causing disruption and difficulties for the National Grid. Solar is almost useless for most of the year in the UK, and not much better the rest.


Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 16, 2022 10:37 pm

There seems to be no limit to what people are told to tolerate.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2022 12:20 am

Zig Zag,

this is little to do with Net Zero but by incluiding batteries they can sell the power when balancing power is required at a far higher cost per unit than if they just sell solar to the grid.

Reply to  Iain Reid
January 17, 2022 12:49 am

Buy cheap electricity from “renewables” when they operate outside of grid demand periods and then sell for a substantial profit when the grid is destabilising because of the “renewables” unreliability.

Wind Capacity Factor minus 30% in Australia (AEMO states 30% to 35%) and solar closer to 20%.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2022 12:29 am

It causes no grid issues whatever. with batteries any excess is stored

Edward Hanley
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:41 am

with batteries any excess is stored” And with batteries all of the excess can be released into the immediate vicinity at any time without warning.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:51 am

Never heard of a need for storage of “excess” when the world’s largest area electricity grid in Australia was supplied only by coal fired power stations and some hydro power stations.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:17 am


I am intrigued as to the cost and technical problems of storing sufficient power during the many weeks in our climate when they produce very little energy and users have to fall back on reliable sources of power generation.


Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  tonyb
January 17, 2022 3:27 am

here’s how we yanks store energy

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 17, 2022 7:03 am

I can imagine it’s nice to be self reliant and to have the time and resources to gather such a pile, but that’s impractical for most people.

It’s more typical for people to rely upon the fossil fuel infrastructure that’s been built up over the past century for providing electricity, heating and cooling.

I do store a few gallons of propane and gasoline for emergencies but otherwise use piped in natural gas and electricity. The only real labor involved is earning enough to be able to pay the bills. I do have to change the air filter on my HVAC regularly and switch turn on the water to the humidifier in winter and turn it off in summer. I also changed a capacitor on my AC compressor once and cleaned out the air blower motor to the furnace every few years, but no chopping is required.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2022 7:07 am

agreed, nice to rely on the fossil fuel infrastructure- but, it’s nice to have some wood during power outages- I wasn’t implying we should heat our homes only with wood

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 3:22 am

And as everyone knows, grifftard, all solar panels in Britain have adequate battery storage. No?

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 4:25 am


Andy Wilkins
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 6:22 am

Griff – you are a parody, without a doubt.

Kevin McNeill
Reply to  Andy Wilkins
January 17, 2022 1:23 pm

No, he’s a parroty!

Reply to  Kevin McNeill
January 17, 2022 3:03 pm

He’s not dead, he’s just sleeping.

King Coal
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 8:59 am

clueless griff! Apart from harmonic distortion on grid, burnt out transformers, lack of inertia etc, the supply chain stench of death and EOL pollution is offensively diabolical

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 11:10 am

What batteries? Honestly, how can you push this line when you know full well there is no storage of any meaningful scale?

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 11:19 am

Those would be the batteries that supply all of 5 minutes worth of power?

Rick C
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 3:06 pm

Griff, thanks but I’ll pass.

Estimated cost of solar panels to power my house while the sun is shining – $20,000.

Estimated cost of solar and battery storage system to power my house 24/7/365 – Solar panels $100,000, Batters storage – $200,000, Total $300,000.

Since I would need to recharge the battery system when the sun shines which is about 20% of the time in the winter, I’d need 5 times my normal usage under sunny conditions. Since it is common to go for as long as two weeks without seeing the sun, I’d need 2 weeks worth of stored energy in my batteries, That’s about 500 kWh at $400/kWh for battery storage. I have probably underestimated the required solar and battery capacity required since the batteries would discharge a significant portion of whatever charge they gained on a sunny day overnight. I estimate that it would take over 2 weeks of clear sky to fully charge the battery system. That would be quite unusual where I live.

Reply to  Rick C
January 18, 2022 2:16 am

You forgot the set of panels required to cover the battery losses.

Martin Pinder
Reply to  Rick C
January 21, 2022 12:02 pm

And how much CO2 would be emitted in producing these panels & batteries? Think of all the work in fitting them especially if lots of people have them fitted what a complicated affair & waste of effort.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 5:07 pm

Griff’s statement assumes the battery will match 100% solar PV capacity (MW) & have unlimited MWh.
The solar PV capacity, battery size & inverter ratings have not been finalised so we can’t say the battery will solve all the problems.
If anyone says energy generation & transmission have simple solutions, they are mistaken. These systems & controls are complex for good reasons.

Reply to  tygrus
January 18, 2022 9:20 am

Batteries are simple, they are just very, very, very expensive.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2022 12:46 am

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is a cooperative of governments and electricity supply businesses and AEMO regulates supply and has various other tasks.

At least three years ago the AEMO stated that rooftop solar must be isolated to installation site usage with no feed-in to the grid and no tariff or credit to the owner of the rooftop solar. The problem is intermittent feed in to local grids resulting in disruption to the main grid because of the now thousands of relatively small area rooftop installations.

Of course large solar and wind installations are also unreliable subject to weather conditions, sunlight and wind velocity, and therefore intermittent supply sources that disrupt electricity grids and the efficient generating operations of power stations resulting in an adverse impact on profitability for stakeholders, forcing electricity pricing up.

Solar is useful in remote areas not able to be connected to an electricity grid, or mobile applications on boats and caravans etc., but even then solar must have back up batteries and even a generator for longer periods of overcast sky conditions. On a grand scale supplying an electricity grid of considerable area coverage, even with very expensive back up storage, generators and other ancillary equipment, and a feeder transmission line to main grid, all very expensive capital expenditure items plus maintenance and eventual replacement costs compared to the accountable life of power stations and potential to continue generating for decades longer when well maintained.

So around the circle it goes, and the sensible solution is nuclear energy power stations and modular generators.

However, coal and gas fuelled power stations remain at present the most cost effective.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2022 12:50 am

They have become useless in Australia because anymore just destabilizes the grid.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2022 1:15 am

In the UK solar operates at 12% efficiency. In order to make it viable it requires subsidies and for greens to ignore the cogent arguments against them

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  tonyb
January 17, 2022 6:25 am


I assume that 12% is annualized capacity factor. But in the UK electric demand is higher in the winter when PV output is lowest, and also tends to peak around 5PM daily, when PV output is essentially zero. So the effective PV response to actual hour-by-hour demand is worse than 12%.

The UK and Germany are about the worst-case environments for PV solar.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 17, 2022 9:20 am


I agree. Averages hide many sins. See my comment a little further on regarding the winter effect


January 16, 2022 10:25 pm

Socialists love to talk about how they care for the working people. But only so long as the working people do as told. Get out of line and you find out that there is nothing voluntary about their schemes. They know what is best for everyone and you will have no choice but to submit.

Reply to  MarkW
January 17, 2022 12:34 am

The old joke about the trade union leader telling the worker:
When we get our freedom we will all drive Rolls Royces and smoke cigars.
Worker replies: but I don’t smoke and can’t drive.
Union official: when you get your freedom you’ll do what you’re jolly well told!

Also in the 1970s a friend opined that the socialists wouldn’t be happy until everyone lived in a state owned house and worked for the government.

Reply to  StephenP
January 17, 2022 12:54 am

Two workers from a council were sighted by a resident in the street his home was in, one digging a hole and the other filling the hole in.

Fascinated the resident walked across the road to speak to the council workers and asked what they were doing. They replied that normally there is a third worker with them who plants trees and shrubs, but on that day their colleague was on a rostered day off provided for in the workplace agreement.

Reply to  StephenP
January 17, 2022 11:26 am

Socialism and communism have the same end result, the only difference is how quickly we get there.
The socialist may proclaim loudly that there goals are different from the communists, the problem is that the only way to fully implement socialism is by having government completely control everyone and everything, which is what communists want.

Gregg Eshelman
January 16, 2022 10:38 pm

They’d be far better off paying to install the huge power connection the Orkney Islands need to get all their wind power to the rest of the UK.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
January 16, 2022 11:00 pm

Only marginally

Rich Davis
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
January 17, 2022 4:29 am

So you prefer wasting money on undersea copper rather than diverting a few square miles away from crops? Fair enough.

They’d be far better off if they could frack for gas.

Reply to  Rich Davis
January 17, 2022 8:08 am

Or go nuclear

John V. Wright
January 16, 2022 10:43 pm

CO2 makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere. Man’s contribution is some 3% – 0.0012%. The UK contributes 1% of human input – 0.000012% of CO2 in the air around us.
Now – China has more than 1,000 coal-fired power stations (and is building more at the rate of one per week); Japan is 1.6 times larger than the UK with about twice the population, has 85 coal-fired power stations and plans to build 22 more; the UK has 3 coal-fired power stations and is closing them all down over the next three years. Of these three nations, which one is committed to moving to a net zero economy?
It’s as if the UK Government is run by pre-school children. Shall we play with building blocks? It’s the pretty coloured ones we like, isn’t it…..?

January 16, 2022 11:10 pm

Surely all the millions of leftists in the UK would be only too happy to have their homes compulsorily acquired for solar farms to help “The Cause” (as their Cardinal Michael Mann called the AGW religion).

January 16, 2022 11:43 pm

Just how moronic are Carrie and her green fiends?

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
January 17, 2022 4:08 am


Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
January 17, 2022 2:34 pm

… obviously, somewhere between 50 & 70.

I would guess on the upper end, and closer to 70.

Phillip Bratby
January 16, 2022 11:48 pm

Successive UK governments, being technically illiterate but stupidly green, have ignored the advice of the late Prof Sir David MacKay (chief scientific adviser at DECC) who said that “wind turbines and solar power are a waste of money”. It is no wonder that we are in an energy crisis with massive fuel poverty. And yet the government continues with its failed and ruinous energy policy. It is difficult to understand the stupidity of politicians and the civil service. We need the land for food, not electricity produced when it is not wanted, in the summer.

We must not forget that the developers have no morals. They are only interested in money. The solar panels will be Chinese, with materials sourced using forced and slave labour. The batteries will be made from materials mined using child labour. The damage to the environment form mining the raw materials and manufacturing the solar panels and batteries will be horrendous. But who cares when you are saving the planet?

I am reminded of this comment from one of our anti-solar farm supporters:
“Most large solar farm developer’s interests are not concerned about ecological extinction, preventing global warming, preserving landscapes or appeasing local communities. They use carbon reduction as a business development opportunity and wrap up their arguments in green wash to coerce planning authorities to allow the go ahead of very damaging schemes. These developments maintain the status quo for producers and keep control out of the hands of consumers and communities. Electricity generation remains in the hands of greedy corporates with no direct benefit to the consumers with the downside that their locality is blighted. The consequences of the massive cumulative loss of agricultural land to food security is never considered and biodiversity enhancements rarely make up for more than is lost.“

January 16, 2022 11:52 pm

Solar power in the UK is an especially dumb idea. The sunniest parts of the country only get ~1800 sunshine hours per year. In most of the country, it’s more like 1,400-1,600 hours per year. And from around October to March, what would be sunlight too weak to generate anything more than trivial amounts of solar power is blocked by almost continuous cloud cover. For practically half the year, solar panels in the UK generate almost no power whatsoever.

Reply to  Marmocet
January 17, 2022 1:22 am

I bought my first solar device-garden lights-some 40 years ago. They will stop working effectively (i.e providing a few hours of evening light) around Mid October and start working again-at reduced levels-around early March. That ratio hasn’t changed in 40 years.


Rob Leviston
January 17, 2022 12:01 am

It’s not just the solar and wind farms! Here in Australia, pristine farm land is intended to be used to route the power lines from country areas, back to the city! As it is irrigated land for crops, the farmers have been told they will not be allowed to irrigate in close proximity to these power lines, effectivity making their land useless!

Reply to  Rob Leviston
January 17, 2022 12:56 am

And to add to the farce former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown not long ago protested about a wind turbine installation approved for the hills surrounding his country home in the State of Tasmania.

He complained that the turbines would ruin the environment and landscape views.

January 17, 2022 12:11 am

This proves things are not what they seem. We’re being lied to. And what they’re covering up will devastate us. The NWO is the world of money and we’re not a part of it…

January 17, 2022 12:27 am

When this thing is built, you won’t be able to see it even from the next field… the solar farms near to me are invisible in the landscape.

It will have some agricultural use – grazing…

The idea that batteries are going to catch fire and poison everyone is ludicrous.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:57 am

Yes, solar farms are invisible to people wearing green goggles.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  JeffC
January 17, 2022 4:33 am

I bet the people who have their land taken away from them for use as solar farms notice them.

Climate believer
Reply to  JeffC
January 17, 2022 7:03 am

To everyone else they’re a blot on the landscape, to put it very mildly.

“…you won’t be able to see it even from the next field…”

sometimes you can’t even see the next field.

Perth solar park.jpg
Bryan A
Reply to  Climate believer
January 17, 2022 12:37 pm
Not much “Grazing” going on, in fact it appears that there is a “Fence Line” between the grazer and the grass between the panels to keep the larger herbivores OUT

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 12:58 am

So explain the 2021 battery storage bank fire in the State of Victoria?

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:05 am

Let me grab out my driver and golf ball and practice to see how invisible they are 🙂

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:25 am

Of course they are visible Griff. I have never seen grazing around them and of course they block sunlight to the soil so any more useful things like grassland and other co2 devouring crops can’t grow.

Anyway I thought that cattle and sheep were not required any more?


Capell Aris
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 1:59 am

Name an example of a solar ‘park’ where there is grazing around the panels? You can’t put cows in those fields because they’ll just wreck the panels. You can’t put sheep in because you can’t manage them with a dog. And you can’t let Tom, Dick and Harry in to cut the grass because they are restricted-working sites only accessible by certified workers.

And besides, once you’ve stolen most of the energy once used to grow crops and then used it to generate energy at less than 10 % efficiency, the ground beneath is effectively north of the Arctic Circle.

Given all the constraints, the Energy Returned over Energy to Build is less than 1. A complete waste of time.

What’s in it for Sunnica then? Well, the usual scam: build the farm and then sell it on, let some other idiot carry the risk. Then second idiot again sells it on. Don’t believe me? Have a look at how many times solar ‘park’s change hands. It’ll be about once a year. Finally, the farmer will be stuck with a useless array of panels and a load of junk to shift.

Reply to  Capell Aris
January 17, 2022 3:32 am

Not only that, as the once famland now classed as utility, can be sprayed to hell to prevent the panels being overgrown. Result – this land can never again be used for food. Same as happens with bio-ethanol maize crops. In other words non renewable farmland. Farmers blush when asked openly about this.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bonbon
January 17, 2022 4:37 am

“Same as happens with bio-ethanol maize crops.”

Could you elaborate on that a little?

Reply to  bonbon
January 17, 2022 11:35 am

On your planet, chemicals don’t break down over time?

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 2:41 am

The grifft dwells on the planet of the humans in the fiefdom of greed in the serfdom of the sucker; please son, think of the children.

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 4:29 am

More GriffLies™. There is already a similar sized farm in Cambrdgeshire. You can see it for miles

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 4:30 am

Griff says: “The idea that batteries are going to catch fire and poison everyone is ludicrous.”

Then the article says: “South Korea saw 23 battery farm fires in just two years and a recent battery fire in Illinois burned for three days, with thousands of residents evacuated. Lithium-ion batteries used in solar farm energy storage systems were deemed an “unacceptable risk” in Arizona after causing two serious ­fires in 2019.”

Are you in denial, Griff? What does that say? It says battery fires occur and as we know, lithium battery fires also produce toxic gases that can poison people. Your “poison everyone” is a strawman.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 5:22 am

Just how well does shaded grass grow for grazing? Better yet how does rainfall get distributed evenly over the land? Have you ever lived or worked on a farm? It doesn’t sound like it when you make such ignorant claims.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 6:41 am

Great Missenden is an affluent village with approximately 2,000 residents in the Misbourne Valley in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, England, situated between the towns of Amersham and Wendover, with direct rail connections to London Marylebone.

How many solar farms do you know of around your neck of the woods, Griff?

Reply to  Harry Passfield
January 17, 2022 11:37 am

You mis-understand the griffster, the reason why he can’t see the solar panels is because he hasn’t reached puberty yet.

Reply to  MarkW
January 17, 2022 12:42 pm

I think it’s more likely that his box doesn’t have any optical sensors.

King Coal
Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 9:49 am

Battery fires are ramping up with increased installation and use so fear not Griff, they’ll be on every decent unbiased news channel weekly soon!
On a plus, they’re great at keeping the snow off the grass! 🤣

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 11:33 am

I see griff is once again pontificating on things he knows nothing about.
Even to grow grass, you need sunshine.
How much grass grows in forests?
Once you figure out why there is no grass in forests, you will be able to figure out why there will be little to no grass under solar panels.
Beyond that, you claim that these panels are low enough to the ground that they can’t be seen. Exactly what kind of animals were you planning on grazing beneath them? Pygmy goats?

Reply to  MarkW
January 18, 2022 6:55 am

Voles, MarkW. They are going to let voles graze under the low, low, out-of-sight panels**.

The voles are rounded up in the Spring, roped, branded, bobbed, and then allowed to graze all Summer to fatten them up.

In the Fall, the vole ranchers round up the voles and drive them to market where they are sold for their hides and meat.

Vole ranching on solar farms is the Next Big Thing.

**Well, at least griff can’t see the panels. Which brings up the question; just how tall is griff; 4″8″?

Hmmm… maybe griff is 6’9″ and griff’s skull keeps cracking on the joists in mom’s basement. That would explain some of griff’s more daft postings. Knocked silly half the time, eh?

Reply to  H.R.
January 18, 2022 9:23 am

Drive them to market? Just how long does this drive take, and is there any meat left on the voles when it is over?
Beyond that, I was wondering what the vole herders were going to ride.

Reply to  MarkW
January 18, 2022 11:23 am

Oh, you had it almost right the first time, Mark. They’ll hire very short voleboys to ride the pygmy goats.

It’s not so much about the meat on one vole as it is the volume of voles the drovers can get to market. There are the vole rustlers that cut into profits.

The main difficulty is roping those little voles. You have to be very good to do that.

The voleboys will also have to be very careful to herd the voles without starting up a vole stampede. The carnage in the wake of a vole stampede would be horrible, just horrible.

The vole butchers will have to get used to using a scalpel instead of a saw, cleaver, and large knife, but they’ll adapt.

Reply to  griff
January 17, 2022 8:49 pm

Griff’s simplistic reasoning and black&white arguments are not logical & not helpful.

While the ground below PV can have some use, it is less than it’s previous use (crop/grazing). There’s no free lunch & management & maintenance is complicated when you have a lot of extra 4 legged animals current/intermittent use (trying to herd them out safely to let workers in). Leaving grass/weeds grow long without grazing would also be a problem.

Could we build the same capacity using existing roofs & less productive land? Why do we have to sacrifice so much?

There have been many recent examples of EV car & BESS fires. These require fire fighters to use respirators, bystanders to keep their distance & some events cause neighbourhoods to be evacuated or kept indoors. The pollution from these fires have not been properly investigated/reported. The concerns of the community are fair & should be investigated for a risk assessment. A “She’ll be right” attitude should not be accepted for any option whether it’s fossil fuel, nuclear or green.
Fire is an obvious risk to consider when designing & choosing technology options. The choice of battery type, chemistry & design will greatly affect the fire risk. The highest power density Li-ion have very high fire risk under extreme conditions & less cycles. LiFePO4 take up more space & Kg but this is less important for stationary batteries, they avoid several fire risks vs Li-ion / Lithium polymer. Sodium, reflow & others have their own benefits vs negatives (tradeoffs, costs). Spacing, monitoring/prevention, onsite fire response (fast action) & other mitigations will all contribute. Some may say these BESS problems are solvable but that remains to be seen in practice while keeping it economical for a grid of 100% renewables in 100% of the locations. They may have to reduce the scale of this project & require further government assistance (incl. £M).

This does not doom this or other projects but I highlight some of the complexity & risks to be considered.

January 17, 2022 12:37 am

People just get in the way of a nice little earner…

rhoda klapp
January 17, 2022 1:06 am

Subsidy farm, I think you mean.

Peta of Newark
January 17, 2022 1:09 am

Quote:”largest solar farm built in the UK so far, providing power for 100,000 homes.

Therein is The Big Lie. Many lies in fact

  • That thing will only be providing power while the sun shines, effectively no more than 6 hours per day and its peak (nameplate) for an hour either side of solar noon under a clear sky
  • In UK conditions, notably concerning latitude, any and all solar systems can expect an annual average output equivalent to 10% of nameplate – which would be 50MW here
  • Another big lie is a Lie by Omission = I am so struggling to find anything about the proposed ‘BESS’ or battery storage system

Their annual average output equates to 500Watts for each of the ‘homes’. Good grief, that’s what the typical wide-screen TV alone is burning and less than half what actually UK homes consume on average.But, that is a figure for ‘today’
Consider that an electric car, under UK driving conditions, covering ‘insurer’s average’ of 10,000 miles per year will be drawing an average 24/7/365 of 500 Watts

Add in also a 3kW draw for an air-source heat pump. OK, the device will maybe average half of that but, installers will always tell folks running the things not to switch them repeatedly on and off – much like your fridge and home freezer.
Thus, come Oct 1st (start of the ‘heating season) thro to maybe April 30thlmall these UK home will be pulling 1.5kW continually for their heat pumps
Heaven forbid outside air temps fall below 5 or 6 Celsius, that heat pump draw will become 10kW per home as the pumps all freeze up solid and switch on their immersions

We’ve got to 3kW per home of the not so distant future, just for basics (car, heating and TV) and this draw is happening in winter = night-time as far as solar farms and panels are concerned.
Plus the average draw for whatever, lighting, computers, modems etc etc.
What happens when the oven and a couple of rings on an electric cooker are switched on, all around then same time across the UK is anyone’s guess, although, if they ventured ‘blackout’ or ‘grid collapse’ they’d not be far wrong.

I can understand their shyness about their ‘BESS’ battery system
I love playing with all things electric and batteries have fascinated since I was an 8 yr old kid so I ‘watch’ batteries in the media and elsewhere.
My best guess is that they will never install any sort of BESS that doesn’t cost less than 4 pence per kWh round-trip through the battery – just for battery ‘consumption/replacement costs
(Assuming the cheapest LiFePO batteries from AliBbaba – batteries with a quite amazing 5000 or even 6000 cycles lifetime)

That 4 pence price is/was the ‘going rate’ for wholesale electricity directly from a coal or CCGT plant.
So how are Sunnica doing their sums when just the battery storage is eating up most of the money they’d get from selling unsubsidised electricity.

I smell a rat – just who is paying for this carbuncle?
For me, the first clue comes from the insanely well-polished and glossy Sunnica website
What I see there is UK Government bank-rolling it, somehow.
What sort of ‘Governments’ try to pull off such disgustingly sneaky stunts? In a Free World with ‘democracies etc,’ are they even allowed to?

edit to PS
Is it a property scam?
Rough guess says they’ll be paying between 40 and 50 million GBP for that bare farmland – I’m guessing circa £12,000 per acre

BUT, once they’ve planted the solar panels, it becomes ‘developed land’ = land that has been granted Planning Permission. So, lets go 10 or more years into the future and its revealed, as I’ve shown above that the solar farm is a financial train wreck – the solar farm is removed but the Planning Permission remains.

Thus they have opemed the door wide open for building houses on all that land, making it worth and in that part of the world and at today;s prices, £500,000 per acre.

Not bad hus when they stole it off the farmers for £12,000?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2022 1:42 am

missed edit #2
The more you think about it, it has GOT to be a property scam, engineered by a Government that is desperate to find land to put new houses on.
They mention Mildenhall, ‘the’ infamous airbase and around there, house prices are insane = just like the traffic coming out of the airbase when their working day ends at 4pm (Yes FOUR pm, not 5 or 5:30 like everyone else)
All those airbase people would dearly love a home with a shorter commute – and a commute that does not mean sitting on gridlocked country lanes for an hour+ every day

Me myself I do really wonder – when what is revealed here only (further) goes to show what A Complete & Total Dump the UK, England especially, has become.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2022 3:45 am

I guess the base commuters are all singing this :
We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn…some sunny place..

michael hart
January 17, 2022 1:51 am

I was just astonished to find out that Sunnica was here in the UK.

I made the naive assumption that the solar farm was being built somewhere sunny.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
January 17, 2022 1:55 am

To which I’ll add that I doubt any “solar” location in the UK could generate enough electricity to cover the interest payments required to purchase the land. High land prices coupled with low sunshine make solar completely uneconomic without subsidies.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  michael hart
January 17, 2022 9:05 am

Here in southern Alberta we are the land of clear sunny skies and windy prairie.
Our solar provides ~18% of nameplate over the year, never more than 10% in winter despite all that clear sunny sun, and only 34% wind nameplate except for those winter high pressure systems with -30C and zero wind, for a week or more at a time.
Insane to install that crap on our grid

January 17, 2022 2:30 am

Ah, the tragedy of the uncommons.

Right-Handed Shark
January 17, 2022 2:39 am

So, 4 sq miles of BLACK solar panels.. I wonder what the UHI effect will be? Still, think of all the highly-skilled, highly paid green jobs they’ll be creating keeping those panels dust, pollen, ice, snow and bird poop free..

January 17, 2022 2:45 am

A really nice sunny day in most of the UK. Our current 14GW of solar capacity is putting out a stonking 2.61GW.

Geoff Sherrington
January 17, 2022 2:46 am

Many people who have worked in mining or fossil fuels are familiar with the dreaded method named compulsory acquisition. It is akin to a big boil on the body that resists all treatment, growing ever bigger and more hated until the host dies in agony.
Who wants it?
You don’t?
Then why are you all so soft on the big land grabber, the United Nations World Heritage mob.

January 17, 2022 3:10 am

if any resident affected by this absurd scam is reading these comments, may I suggest that they consider calling parish polls or referendums under the 1972 Local Government Act? All that is needed is for a minimum of 10 electors at a parish meeting to demand a poll on any subject whatsoever and the poll must be held. It is quite easy to call a parish meeting. We used this tactic in Marlow in 2006 to frustrate the execution of a compulsory purchase order by the local council to enable an oversize supermarket being built in the heart of the Marlow conservation area. A test for compulsory purchase is, “Is it in the compelling public interest?” We asked the public whether the compulsory purchase for the supermarket owner was in the compelling public interest? 93% of the Marlow public who voted said “No”. The megastore was never built.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Stoic
January 17, 2022 4:42 am

That’s what’s needed: Some practical advice.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Stoic
January 17, 2022 10:48 am

And the locals continued to pay inflated prices to the “local” stores. Smart people just drove a littler further to the closest supermarket. The supermarkets are still built, just at places that like the jobs and tax revenue.

Richard Saumarez
January 17, 2022 3:58 am

I’m always amused by greenies who tell us that solar in Morocco,Spain and possibly Germany has been an overpowering success.
One points out in vain that latitude has something to do with but greenies don’t like beastly sines and cosines.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Richard Saumarez
January 17, 2022 9:26 am

They are allergic to simple Math and ignore when constructing models the garbage in garbage out principle.

Reply to  Richard Saumarez
January 17, 2022 11:40 am

Solar is so successful in Spain that they ended up using spotlights so it could continue to be successful at night.

Michael in Dublin
January 17, 2022 4:35 am

Children thrive on attention, some even if it is negative attention. There is a commenter that keeps turning up on this Website like a bad penny. Do not respond to his comments or even give him a down arrow. Only engage those who are prepared to reason carefully, logically and politely. This way we can starve his CO2 detector.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
January 17, 2022 11:24 am

Often it’s about pointing out the fantasy in his claims, lest a third party relatively new to the subject think they might have some merit.

January 17, 2022 4:45 am

What will happen with all the cadmium leaching?
Solar panel farms growth raises more questions over potential for heavy metals to leak into soil – ABC News
not to mention the landfill when they’re stuffed-
Regional NSW at forefront of race to establish solar panel recycling industry – ABC News
Never mind all that and the narrow minded obstructionists and NIMBYs as they have to be jackbooted out of the way for the necessary changes that ‘deeply affect social[ist] reality’-
Germany plans emergency program for “huge, gigantic” 2030 emissions task | RenewEconomy

Welcome to the climate changers and their Utopian dream folks.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 17, 2022 5:19 am

You would, for instance need 33 of these monstrosities to provide the same amount of power as a 2GW gas power station such as Carrington, (which you would need anyway to provide backup!).

Correction: the Carrington power station has two CCGT units producing 442.2 MW each for a total output of 884 MW, not 2 GW. There are an additional 4 small (60 MW) units planned, so the eventual capacity will be 1144 MW.

It’s an indication of how pervasive the Carbon Cult has become that even when doing something sensible, people feel the need to kowtow to green theology:

Across the 800 kilometres of waterways travelled, approx. 8,000 tonnes of equipment was transported. ESB claimed that this was 50% more efficient than road transport and that 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were prevented as a result. Given the large workforce at the project, a ‘green travel plan’ was also implemented where workers were transported to and from the site via double-decker buses from satellite car parks. These measures reduced the impact of traffic on local residents. Due to the sustainable approaches adopted during construction of the station, the project was shortlisted for a UK corporate responsibility award in 2014.

Bruce Cobb
January 17, 2022 5:26 am

They are all for solar, just not in their backyard.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 17, 2022 6:28 am

Cant they emote globally and acquiesce locally? What is wrong with these deniers?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 17, 2022 2:52 pm

Even NIMBY is green. When anything other than wind and solar is locally stopped it is a good thing to the Leftists. When industrial solar and wind projects are impeded locally, it is right wing obstructionism.

Reply to  Dave Fair
January 17, 2022 3:07 pm

Leftists have a tendency to define right and wrong, good and evil, based solely on whether they benefit.

Loren C. Wilson
January 17, 2022 6:16 am

“providing power for 100,000 homes” is really “providing power for 100,000 homes when the sun is shining”. By their own admission, nameplate is 500 MW and deliverable is 60 MW for a utilization rate of 12%. That is awful and a horrible investment.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
January 17, 2022 7:08 am

You can see a fair chunk of Australia lies above the Tropic of Capricorn-
24c490e8f6f5ecccffc39a4d38d57342.jpg (1525×745) (

Nevertheless even in the NW of Australia above the Tropic they can bare earth 20 square metres of Gaia per nameplate AC kilowatt-
Woodside submits plans for a million solar panels near Karratha (
and I calculated as much as 37.5 squ metres per kW below in in the SE near Balranald in the Sunraysia.

You can get away with that scorched earth policy in remote arid areas but the hackles rise the closer they get to civilisation and prime farming land. All that landfill the special companies set up to contract to build and run them will dissolve into thin air when it comes time to scrap them. Just like the wind turbines.

Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 7:37 am

Unless they are getting a much higher price for electricity than a gas plant the solar plant makes no sense.

You need a gas plant for backup and the capital costs, interest and maintenance for the solat plant will exceed the fuel costs of simply running a gas generator.

In other words, the extra cost of the solar exceeds the cost of fuel for a gas plant. You are simplyvwasting money while taking away valuable farmland.

Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 7:40 am

Why build the solar farm on prime agricultural land? Build it on rocky ground with no commercial value.

Otherwise you need to add the value of lost food production to the cost of the solar plant. A not insignificant cost.

Joel O’Bryan
January 17, 2022 7:54 am

Solar PV at 52 N latitude is ridiculously stupid. Add in the long dreary cloudy days and it is insane to think this is a good. Sunnica is merely harvesting whatever tax credits and free money thrown at them by even more stupid pols.

Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 7:59 am

Add up the value of all the electricity that can be stored and released during the lifetime of the battery.

That number will equal the cost of the battery.

As such, the only way you can add batteries to a grid is to dramatically raise the price of electricity. But this will dramatically increase the cost of producing batteries.

Burgher King
Reply to  Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 9:33 am

Unless all those batteries are produced in China, and the competition among buyers for Chinese production capacity doesn’t cause their delivered prices to increase.

Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 8:11 am

Why would they build this solar farm on level agricultural land? It makes no sense. The solar farm is at 52 N latitude.

They should build the farm on a south facing hill with a slope of 52 degrees. No one is going to farm the land and you don’t need to space the panels to avoid shading adjacent panels.

Building on flat land is a silly waste of good land when building on a hill will improve the efficiency of the watts/meter².

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Ed Fox
January 17, 2022 9:15 am

All makes sense, but you know that once they get to construction they will building it on the north side of the hill

Pat from Kerbob
January 17, 2022 8:44 am

it will be the largest solar farm built in the UK so far, providing power for 100,000 homes.

100k homes, maybe a fraction of that, and for a few minutes a day, but not every day

Robert Bissett
January 17, 2022 9:07 am

“It’s worrying that the applicant is also proposing to apply for Compulsory Purchase Orders where it can’t reach a negotiated settlement with affected landowners.”

Perhaps they didn’t get the memo: “Sit down and shut up!” he reasoned.

January 17, 2022 9:43 am

2700 acres for 100,000 homes = less than 4 homes per acre. Yeah, that’s “sustainable”.

Paul Penrose
January 17, 2022 10:27 am

Unfortunately it will probably take the deaths of many thousands of people before the general populace understands the utter folly of these “Net Zero” schemes.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Paul Penrose
January 17, 2022 2:56 pm

No, it will only take the average voter to understand the cost to them personally of the politicians’ folly.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 18, 2022 9:22 am

Death is pretty personal when it’s someone you know.

Rod Evans
January 17, 2022 11:07 am

Now just you remember there, farmers in Suffolk.
you have been told enough times.
you will own, nothing, and you will be happy.

January 17, 2022 11:08 am

Not to mention building solar installations at 52.5 degrees north latitutde in a cloudy area with a yearly sunshine average of 1500 hours.

Geoff Sherrington
January 17, 2022 4:23 pm

During a TV broadcast of the recent Test Cricket match in Hobart, the camera scanned slowly over some big new homes on nearby hills. One big white-pained home looked lovely, except that the group of what looked like about 20 solar panels had also been painted white over their exposed surface, to get the best colour coordination. Or so it seemed. Geoff S

January 17, 2022 5:23 pm

4 square miles for 100,000 homes, WOW. For how long a day will this be providing power for them, 2,4,6, then what when the suns not shining? You know day does turn into night. oh battery back-up. How big and for how long will it provide power for? England’s not renowned for being a sunny place to live. Whats the overall footprint for a coal fired power station – or heaven forbid a nuclear power plant.

Old Grumpus
January 18, 2022 1:12 am

The problem is that most people do not realise how totalitarian our government has become and continue to believe that individual rights are respected. Ask anyone who has suffered from HS2 being routed and built through their neighbourhood over the last 10 years. The situation with grotesque wind and solar farms is no different.

Martin Pinder
January 21, 2022 11:51 am

Well Mr Hancock, this is what happens if you support solar energy & other ruinables.

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