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University of Cambridge considers solar farm to help drive towards zero carbon




Plans for a new solar farm outside are being considered by the University of Cambridge.

According to the Cambridge University Reporter – the university’s public journal of official business – it is considering submitting a planning application to construct a solar farm on land between Cambridge Road and Barton Road, next to the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, near Harlton to the south west of the city.

A solar farm (39603221)
A solar farm (39603221)

The majority of the area is currently used as farmland.

The report says the solar farm could produce 19 per cent of the university’s 2019 electrical consumption.

The university has committed to reducing its energy-related carbon emissions to zero by 2048.

Planning permission would be required prior to any construction.

“If the scheme proceeds, the electricity generated will be supplied, via a private wire connection, to the West Cambridge site to supply university buildings on the site with low-carbon electricity. The plans accommodate the retention of radio telescope structures that cross the proposed site,” the report says.

Land beside the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory could be used for the solar farm (39603196)
Land beside the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory could be used for the solar farm (39603196)

A spokesperson for the university said: “Cambridge University is committed to reducing its energy-related carbon emissions to absolute zero, and is actively pursuing a programme of work to reduce its energy demand and switch to low and zero carbon sources of energy.

“Part of this programme is looking at the feasibility of developing a solar farm on university land to supply renewable electricity to university buildings.”

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