A massive 36MW solar energy park comprising more than 105,000 panels could soon be adorning the Crimond landscape.
If approved, the 35-year proposal by Green Energy International would make it one of the largest renewable energy project in Scotland set over 150 acres.
The company claims it will save the CO2 equivalent of 1,287,897,311 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, replace the need for 1,219,538 barrels of oil, power in excess of 10,500 Houses during its lifespan and charge 67,167,113,667 smartphones.
The site would lie just a stone’s throw from the St Fergus Gas Terminal which has been processing North Sea oil and gas since 1982.
Bilbo Farm at Crimond was ultimately selected from 132 farms contacted by Green Energy as it was considered well suited and well located to meet the need for the development of solar photovoltaics (PV).
If approved the scheme will be located midway between Keyhead and Crimond to the west of the A90.
The firm says the scheme – which could take just 12-weeks to construct – has been developed “carefully and sensitively” based on an in-depth understanding of the site’s characteristics.
In a supporting statement to Aberdeenshire Council’s planning services the company say: “The proposed development will aim to incorporate biodiversity enhancement measures and green landscaping that will add to the ecological value of the site and reduce the visual impact of the solar farm.
“It is considered that the proposal for a large-scale solar development will make an important contribution towards providing cleaner, renewable sources of energy and, consequently, reversing the impacts of climate change without any significant or long-term adverse impacts to the local area.”
The proposed development consists of solar panels located on aluminium frames along with a substation, inverter units and a containerised battery storage facility which will allow the solar farm to store renewable energy which could be utilised during the peak periods in the morning and evening.
Security fencing would be incorporated along with CCTV to help deter unwanted people from entering the proposed solar site.
The applicants undertook a 12-week consultation late last year including a public event in Crimond in October. Buchan East Community Council, local interest groups, residents and businesses have also been contacted.
Green Energy International’s CEO Arthur Bell stated: “We’ve undertaken a great deal of work over the past 12 months to make sure we put forward a design that will be both efficient and
environmentally acceptable. We believe we have succeeded in our aim to do this.
“Through conversations with local resident at our public exhibitions in Crimond last winter, plus from a personal ‘door knocking’ exercise, we received helpful feedback which played an important part in shaping the final application.
“Over the coming decades ground-mounted solar power has a crucial role to play in helping to meet our climate change targets, Bilbo Solar Farm will play a key part in supporting this."