How would Denby sun fuel farm be installed ?

A birds' eye view of the areas marked for a 47 acre solar panel farm in Denby.
A birds' eye view of the areas marked for a 47 acre solar panel farm in Denby.

A plan to install 7,000 solar panels on land off Street Lane in Denby could have a ‘colossal visual impact’ claim angry villagers.

Nearby residents to the 150-acre scheme by renewable energy firm Freetricity have voiced their fears at public meetings held in Denby and Ripley during the past fortnight.

They include worries over the impact on wildlife and how much ‘glare’ the one by two metre panels will create.

But a major fear is that the solar farm would pave the way for future industrial development there as it would re-classify the Greenbelt as brownfield.

“There’s got to be better places than there,” said one resident, who did not wish to be named. “There is some damn nice countryside there and some damn good walks through it.”

Another man said he felt Freetricity should have consulted with residents first before submitting the planning applications for the site.

Other worries include the amount of noise that might be created by the substations on site.

The solar farm, if approved, would provide 18 megawatts of energy, equivalent to the yearly power usage of 6,000 homes.

The land it would be situated on is owned by four separate farms, which would make income from supplying energy.

Stephen Wiseman, of Freetricity, is attempting to allay villagers’ concerns.

He said: “Despite the common myths surrounding installations of this nature glare and noise from large installations such as these are non-existent.

“The average noise level of the generation equipment is less than a domestic fridge freezer.”

The plan is likely to be decided by Amber Valley Borough Council in the new year.