Cleve Hill Solar Park
Cleve Hill Solar Park is a photovoltaic power station that was approved on 28th May 2020. It is sited on the Graveney marshes between Faversham and Whitstable, Kent in the UK.
It will generate 350MW of electricity from 900 acres (360 ha) vertical solar panels. Because of its size, it is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project so outside the standard local planning procedure.
The solar park is being developed in partnership by Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy Ltd and will be the largest solar farm in the UK generating approximately 350 MW of electricity. The 800 acres (320 ha) of Grade 3b agricultural land will be covered by the east|west facing solar photovoltaic panels.
Across the marsh run the 400kV powerlines of the national grid. They are supported by eight 40m pylons. There is a large 150/400kV electricity substation at Cleve Hill, serving the London Array offshore wind farm that lies to the north beyond the mouth of the Thames Estuary.
The output from the solar park will use this substation to connect to the grid. Here, a battery array will placed, that will charge from the sunlight during the day and release the energy at night when it is needed.
Cleve Hill substation is situated near the village of Graveney, around one kilometre inland from the north Kent coast. We built the substation next to the Canterbury-Kemsley 400kV overhead power line on the north side of Cleve Hill, close to existing buildings at Cleve Farm. It was designed to blend into the hillside.
The substation was designed by RMJM, a world-renowned firm of architects. It was developed around the concept of a viewing point perpendicular to the substation and almost a kilometre away on the Saxon Shore Way. The substation’s main architectural feature is the North Wall, which is 10m tall and made up of a series of concrete panels and fins.
To support the community near the substation, in May 2010 London Array established a £300,000 community fund. Managed by The Graveney and Goodnestone Trust, funds were provided to projects that would benefit the parish and its residents in areas including culture, sport, environment, heritage, safety and regeneration.