Another thing that should be taken into account when considering installing a large scale commercial solar panel PV array is the aesthetic impact it will have on the surrounding area. Though less conspicuous than wind turbines, solar fields have still provoked very strong opposition by groups concerned over their effect on the landscape.
The ability to obtain planning permission is therefore a central consideration when thinking of installing a solar field, because unlike small domestic or commercial installations, all large scale projects will require planning approval from the local authority. The ultimate planning decision will be based on a range of factors, including visual impact (glare, etc.), the potential benefits it could bring to the local community, the array’s impact on the local ecosystem, as well as the local electricity grid connectivity.
There will be a planning application fee, usually dependent on the size of the proposed site (sometimes these can run to six figures, to a maximum of £250,000); each local authority will have its own guidelines on this. The LA will also perform a site visit when assessing a planning application, as well as gauging the local reaction to the proposals.
A full list of the UK solar installers can be found here