Tuesday 28 April 2015

Hawton Solar Farm

No running today as I had important cricket nets this evening, which I survived without having my thighs battered black, blue, and now green. So just to keep my legs moving, I had a gentle cycle in rather a cold wind out to Cotham and back, to take in what I might see in the paddocks.

Well, there was nothing of note, the birds were presumably wary of the people who were doing horse type work in the southern paddock, and the northern one was empty. Luckily, there were some artificial sights worthy of note.

Hawton Solar Farm came online in 2011, before the government slashed the subsidy available for renewable solar energy projects, and at the time was the largest solar energy station in the country. I could drone on about its vital statistics, luckily a sign I photographed will do that for me.

What I will say, having cycled past it many many times, is that I consider it a wonderful, futuristic sight and not at all a blot on the landscape as renewable projects are usually regarded; I feel the same about wind farms. On a sunny day, I often mistake it for the pond at Cotham Flash, as it glows mirage like in the distance. Yet at close range it is pretty discretely hidden behind roadside hedges.

Of course, I am a writer, a man with imagination, and I find it easy to think of Scaramanga's solar powered weapon in "The Man with the Golden Gun", or that it could be transported to the moon or Mercury for a futuristic base, or its reflected rays used to defeat a rampaging Godzilla.

I like the future, and futurism. There is no reason why they can't go hand in hand with green space, or in residential development.

Given the dismal low quality shoebox housing being crammed into every nook and cranny in town, the future cannot come quickly enough.


The dry facts of the place

Not a bad day for solar generation

Panels stretch into the far distance

This horse generates no electricity, but then, neither do I

Keeping the wagtails away!


  1. \i like the look of that solar farm - we all have to move with the times don't we?
    we have solar panels and have had then for about five years and have never regretted it. They have almost paid for themselves now.

  2. All new homes should have them on south facing roofs, the tech is getting cheaper by the day. Bit more of a struggle to make home turbines pay, as far as I can make out.

  3. Hi Simon,

    If I am to be honest I do not like the look of solar farms but they are essential. I would much rather have solar energy than other forms.
    I have read about the farms planned for Kent.....they also speak of plantings of meadows alongside for bees and butterflies etc. No that sounds perfect to me. You are Sci fi......I am the romantic, other end of the scale :)

  4. It's a bit of land formery used, I think, as part of the rubbish tip complex at Cotham tip. I think there is plenty of room for nature and hi tech out there!