FAQ

  • Q: Are solar panels noisy? A:

    No, solar panels make no audible noise.

  • Q: Who is Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited A:

    Lightsource is the UK's leading solar energy generator. Our vision is to use proven solar photovoltaic technology to meet the rising renewable energy demand.

  • Q: What are the benefits of solar energy? A:
    1. It reduces the need for burning fossil fuels, so it decreases the effects of Global Warming and improves the quality of the air we breathe.
    2. Solar farms create a local, reliable source of energy which reduces our dependence on foreign oil and gas sources.
    3. It minimises the depletion of natural resources for future generations.
    4. Solar panels are mounted low to the ground, so they are much less visible at long distance than wind farms or nuclear power stations.
    5. In the longer term, an increase in renewable energy generation in the UK will result in lower electricity prices.
    6. A solar farm installation does not change the grade of the land it is built on. When the plant is decomissioned, the land can be easily restored back to its original state.
  • Q: How do solar panels work? A:

    Solar panels convert daylight into electricity. Light shining on the panel creates an electric field across layers of silicon in each cell, causing Direct Current (DC) electricity to flow.

    This is then converted by an 'inverter' into the usable Alternating Current (AC) electricity that powers our homes. Solar panels do not need direct sunshine to work, just daylight, so they can still generate electricity on gloomy days.

  • Q: Will solar panels move to track the sun? A:

    No, the solar panels will be fixed in place and will not move.

  • Q: Does a field based construction increase the risk of flooding in the area? A:

    No. The framework uses screw-in foundations. Installations have a negligible effect on run off volumes and do not create a flood risk.

  • Q: Do solar panels create a hazard for aeroplanes? A:

    The FAA has published various papers and recommendations with regards to Solar PV at airports/airfields and the general conclusion is that they are safe and do not pose a risk to aircraft. Solar installations close to and within airport grounds are common in Europe and the USA, and 2012 has seen the installation of a solar power plant at Gatwick Airport. Lightsource has also achieved approval from London City Airport to build a megawatt scale installation under the takeoff and landing paths next to the Thames.

  • Q: Does Lightsource operate solar plants for a profit? A:

    Yes, Lightsource has chosen solar energy generation as its mode of business. Returns come from the sale of the electricity generated and subsidies under the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Obligation Certificate scheme. This income provides for the operation and maintenance costs of the site, repayment of the initial investment, and a profit for the running of Lightsource as a business.

  • Q: How long will the solar plant be operational? A:

    All components of the solar plant are built to operate for at least 25 years. Lightsource will apply for planning permission for 25 years, after which time all infrastructure will be removed and the site will then return to being “greenfield”. As the use is classed as temporary, it will not change the definition of the site to “brownfield” post decommissioning.

  • Q: What is involved in maintenance and operation of the solar plant? A:

    Solar farms require minimum maintenance once constructed, with no permanent on site staff. The site will be visited about 4 times per year to cut the grass and wash the panels with water, with perhaps a further 10 visits for general maintenance checks. All maintenance workers will access the site in standard 4x4s, vans or cars.

  • Q: How is the project financed? A:

    Lightsource has a close relationship with Octopus Investments, a leading investment specialist with funds focused specifically on solar energy generation. Funding for all projects is provided by Octopus, meaning the landowner pays nothing. The typical investors for this project and other similar ones are over 50 years old, with a minimum investment of just £3,000.

Dunsfold Park

Dunsfold Park

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