The Solar Trade Association (STA) has proposed best practice for Solar PV farm developments / projects. The STA has published 10 commitments for Solar PV farm developers which are designed to encourage best practice and public support for large Solar PV projects.
The STA want the following commitments from Solar PV Farm developers/installers:
- We will focus on non-agricultural land or land which is of lower agricultural quality.
- We will be sensitive to nationally and locally protected landscapes and nature conservation areas, and we welcome opportunities to enhance the ecological value of the land.
- We will minimise visual impact where possible and maintain appropriate screening throughout the lifetime of the project managed through a Land Management and/or Ecology plan.
- We will engage with the community in advance of submitting a planning application.
- We will encourage land diversification by proposing continued agricultural use or incorporating biodiversity measures within our projects.
- We will do as much buying and employing locally as possible.
- We will act considerately during construction, and demonstrate ‘solar stewardship’ of the land for the lifetime of the project.
- We will seek the support of the local community and listen to their views and suggestions.
- We commit to using the solar farm as an educational opportunity, where appropriate.
- At the end of the project life we will return the land to its former use.
Over the coming months it will be interesting to see how these are applied and if these result in a change of attitude towards large solar PV farm projects.