The go-ahead has been issued to the biggest solar farm in the UK, extending 900 acres down the coast of north Kent.
The government has approved the contentious system that will supply electricity to 91,000 households.
The scheme could include one of the biggest energy storage projects in the world.
Yet it has been strongly criticized by many local residents, and the ecological organisations remain split. Greenpeace, the RSPB and the charity CPRE in the countryside are against the plan.
They say the countryside is industrializing-and may cause harm to an adjacent wildlife site.
But Earth Friends gave professional assistance, on the basis that the present intensively-farmed land was terrible for biodiversity anyway.
Their spokesperson Mike Childs said: “No-one wants to see damage to local habitats, but this is not some lovely, untouched meadow.
“Changing the use of the site from intensive agriculture will reduce the high level of chemicals currently harming insects and wildlife – but we have to hold the developers to account”.
Environmentalists want developers to give free rooftop solar panels to local residents demonstrating against the solar farm – and in particular against the massive energy storage facility, which they believe could prove to be a source of explosions.
The plant would require a minimum of 25 acres of property and the local charity CPRE claims the existing battery storage device has triggered accidents and incidents around the globe.
The Wirsol Energy and Hive Energy developers claim it is free. They say the subsidy-free scheme would be one of UK’s lowest-cost electricity producers which would carry £1 m to local authorities per year it operates.
The government controversially declared in 2015 that it would phase out incentives from solar electricity, despite the industry’s howl of outrage.
Yet since 2010 solar panel prices have been tumbling by two thirds.
Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said the decision was made after careful consideration-but said the project would be a world leader in solar storage and power.
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