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A Surrey based company wants to trap the sun’s rays on Lewis to make electricity.


It proposes to built the five megawatt energy scheme in a large 32-acre natural hollow in the moorland off the single track road on the approach to the Arnish yard.


The energy is earmarked to power the Arnish industrial estate and at the Creed business park, says the developer.


As the development is off-grid it will directly supply its nearby industrial customers thus avoiding the lengthy delays in seeking a grid connection.


NGN Telecoms has an 25-year in principle agreement with the Stornoway Trust to  erect 25,000 solar panels covering 11 acres of the moor,. Each panel measurers 1.7 metres by 1 metre.


Gary Shepherd, the company’s managing director, said: “We intend to utilise up to five megawatt output of the proposed solar farm to sustain the energy supplies of existing businesses on these sites (subject to contract) whilst helping to encourage the development of new businesses in those locations.


“The site has been specifically selected because it sits in a natural basin and is located away from any residual developments, on ground which has no crofting potential or rights as the ground is too poor quality to sustain even grazing for livestock.”


Mr Shepherd added: “The site is not in any area zoned for conservation. In addition we ntend to obscure the view of the site from the only road in the area by planting a line of evergreen trees on the three sides of the site that are visible to the road.


“Therefore the site will blend in with other wooded areas in the immediate proximity.”


He said: “After 25 years, at the end of the lease with the Stornoway Trust, everything installed on the land can be removed,” though concrete foundations would be buried.


“If financially viable and desired by the community, the council and the Stornoway Trust, the solar panels can be fully refurbished or replaced and a new lease term entered into.”




One of Britain’s largest solar farm planned for Lewis           16/4/11