Dorset locals hit out at huge 100,000-panel solar farm being built on 75 acres of countryside that will send ALL its power to offices in City of London
Countryside campaigners have hit out at a huge solar being built in the heart of Dorset that will send all its power to offices in the City of London.
Almost 100,000 solar panels are currently being installed on 75 acres of rolling countryside near the village of Spetisbury.
But the 50 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 15,000 homes - the farm will produce will not be for local residents wanting to become more environmentally friendly.
Instead the green energy will be channelled 120 miles to London's Square Mile where it will power office buildings such as the Gherkin and the Guildhall.
Last year the City of London Corporation, which runs the capital's financial district, signed a £400m contract with French energy firm Voltalia.
The authority agreed to fund the construction of the solar panels in Dorset in return for all the electricity they produce.
Dorset Council gave the project the go-ahead and construction is now well underway.
But the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), an environmental pressure group, has taken a stand against the work.
Rupert Hardy, chairman of CPRE Dorset who objected to the proposals, said: 'We opposed the plans because of the impact on countryside and the farmland in the area.
'That land should be used to provide food for Dorset - not electricity for London.
'We would far prefer energy produced in our county to be used here - especially when it is desecrating our beautiful landscape.
'The solar farm is within sight of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. What we would like to see is more solar panels on roofs.'
The deal, known as a 'sleeve agreement', is the first of its kind in the UK to be signed between a private company and governing authority.
It will save the City of London Corporation around £3m in energy costs a year and provide more than half of its electricity for 30 years.