East Midlands Airport solar power plan shelved

A scheme to build a 20,000-panel solar power project next to East Midlands Airport has been shelved.

Airport bosses had originally hoped the 10-hectare (25-acre) site would produce about a third of the facility's energy.

But some nearby residents said it would use up agricultural land and open the door to further development.

An airport spokesman said the move was linked to a recent government decision to reduce incentives for alternate energy projects.

The government has announced a 70% decrease in tariff payments for energy from renewable power projects.

Tariff reduction

Airport spokesman Neil Robinson said: "The proposed PV (photo voltaic) farm project was set to save the airport 2,000 tonnes of carbon each year and provide at least 33% of the airport's electricity.

"It is regrettable that the decision by government to reduce support for large scale PV projects has caused the airport to halt the feasibility work at this stage."

Airport officials unveiled the idea earlier this year as part of their ambition to be carbon neutral by 2012.

One attraction was the so-called feed-in tariff - a scheme to encourage more use of solar panels.

The policy guaranteed money for surplus power generated, but the government is cutting the feed-in payment by 70% from next month.

No formal planning application for the site, located to the south of the main airport entrance on the edge of Diseworth village, had been submitted to North West Leicestershire Council.

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