Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

We met with local residents on 26 April 2023 and 23 November 2023 to discuss our proposal.

We thought it would be helpful to summarise the questions asked and answers given, with extra detail where possible.

We’ll add to this list as the project progresses to ensure everyone is well-informed.

Why have you picked this site for a solar farm?

  • The site has viable horizontal irradiance (daylight hours), we estimate around 920kWh/m2 per annum.
  • It has a nearby connection to the distribution network of the National Grid. This is essential for any renewable energy development and constraints where they can be developed. If a site is too far from a grid connection, or if that connection requires significant upgrades to accommodate a new connection, then it won’t be commercially viable.
  • The site has good road access, which minimises disruption to traffic and neighbours during the short construction process.
  • From our initial research, we cannot find any constraints from statutory bodies like SEPA, Nature Scot or Historic Scotland.

Can’t you select an alternative site?

  • As solar energy developers, we look at sites all the time and we hope to bring more proposals forward.
  • We believe this is an excellent site and we’re moving ahead with our planning application.

Isn’t this site better for agricultural use, to help ensure Scotland’s food security?

  • We need land for both agriculture and energy production. The land is classed as LCCA grade 3.1.
  • The solar farm, when built, could actually improve the soil quality over the project's lifetime, as there will be no fertiliser, pesticide applications or tilling.
  • Crop pathogens will die out without host plants and, without constant sowing, harvesting and ploughing, the soil should be rested and in a better state to grow crops on in the future.
  • When the solar farm is in operation the land will be put down to a mixture of wildflowers and grasses that can be grazed by sheep thereby continuing to be farmed, albeit in a different way.
  • Policy 5 of Scotland’s National Planning Framework 4 (2023)2 supports using agricultural land for the production of renewable energy.

Couldn’t you put a wind farm on neighbouring hillsides instead?

  • Our expertise is in finding and developing sites suitable for solar energy. We do have a sister company, Wind2, that develops onshore wind proposals.
  • We’re not looking to develop a wind farm near Collace and we don’t believe the nearby hills would be suitable, due to a lack of a suitable wind resource and visibility from the Leuchars Ministry of Defence radar.
  • Previously, other developers looked at a wind farm on Bandirran hill, but this was not taken forward due to a multitude of factors.

How much will you receive in subsidies?

  • None. Solar farms and other commercial renewable energy schemes haven’t received any government subsidies since 2019.
  • That’s why it’s essential to choose a commercially viable site with sufficient irradiation and a nearby grid connection.

Who is your financial backer?

  • Solar2 is the developer of this site and has partnered with Recurrent Energy on seven of its projects.
  • Recurrent Energy will build and operate the project. Their third-quarter results, posted in 2022, showed revenue of USD 1.93 billion and saw them ship 6000MW worth of panels.

Who is responsible for decommissioning the solar farm and removing the panels at the end of its lifespan?

  • A full decommissioning plan will be agreed upon with Perth and Kinross Council and the landowner.
  • This will be part of the planning conditions linked to the project.
  • An experienced third-party surveyor will value the cost of having the site reinstated and this amount will be lodged with the council as a bond.
  • This figure can only be accessed by the council for decommissioning and will be re-evaluated every five years to ensure the value is sufficient.

Will this development reduce the value of our property?

  • There is no evidence in the UK that any solar farm has devalued a property.
  • Research elsewhere seems to point to renewable energy projects having little impact on property values, with other factors being considered more likely to affect the prices.

Express Conveyancing
American Clean Power Association

Will this development ruin our view?

  • The solar farm will be more visible from some properties than others.
  • We are mindful of this, and as part of the consultation and development process, we have adapted the layout to minimise any visual impacts.
  • As part of the planning application, we will propose new hedgerows that, as well as acting as wildlife corridors, will also act as screening and will minimise views of the scheme.

What will the impact be on wildlife like bats and newts, and on the land itself?

  • We have undertaken ecology surveys as part of our planning application and these will be assessed by Nature Scot.
  • Any theoretical impacts will be mitigated through design and coordinating the construction timetable.
  • Anecdotally we know that solar farms can be good for bats after the construction phase. The land is undisturbed and without any pesticides should mean more invertebrates for bats to eat.

What’s biodiversity net gain?

  • The aim is to provide a measurable improvement in biodiversity on the site.
  • This can be done in several ways on solar farms, including grassland habitats at margins, suitable grass and wildflowers, wild bird seed mixes, reinforcement of existing hedges, beetle banks, artificial nest boxes, hibernacula and low-intensity grazing.
  • A good source of further reading on this is ‘The Natural Capital Value of Solar’, produced by the Solar Trade Association.

Is this the final layout?

  • We made a number of changes to the design over the course of the project and after consultation with residents and now have a final layout.
  • We will present this layout at our public exhibitions.

What will happen to the undesignated areas on the layout, how do we know what will be put there?

  • The planning application will clearly show the areas that will be built on.
  • Areas within the original red line of the plan with no panels will not be built on. They will either be left for farming or set aside for wildflowers.

How will the community benefit fund be distributed, what can it be used for?

  • These funds are for the community to decide what is most needed locally.
  • We would like the community to decide this, either through a community liaison group or a community council.
  • As with other community benefit funds from renewable energy projects, the only stipulation will be that they are used in line with standard charitable aims.

Will you put sheep on the land?

  • It is very common to have sheep grazing on solar farms, they move between and under the panels.
  • This will very likely be the case with Collace solar farm if it gains planning permission.

Will there be a wildflower meadow as part of the community benefit fund, or as part of the screening?

  • The final design of the project will show areas that will be set aside for biodiversity improvements, including wildflower meadows.
  • This will be part of the project and not linked to the community benefit fund.

What about fencing and lighting?

  • There will be fencing around the solar farm. It will be very similar to deer fencing locally: around 2m high, with wooden posts and metal mesh. You can see representative images here.
  • The fencing will have gaps so wildlife like badgers can pass through.
  • There will be CCTV cameras at strategic points on the fences.
  • The CCTV cameras will be located away from residential properties and will be sited along the fence lines. All required registrations and licences will be in place before the cameras are operational.
  • The solar farm will not cause any light pollution: we will not install any security lighting and the panels don't have lights.

What about other associated infrastructure?

  • We’ve added the associated infrastructure to our updated layout plan in late March 2023.
  • This will include a substation (around 13 x 4 x 3m) and inverter stations (around 12 x 2 x 3m).
  • Underground cabling will also be required (see below)

Where will you connect to the grid, and where will the cables go?

  • Our proposed grid connection is to a new substation on the 132kV line northeast of the site in the Coupar Angus area.
  • The exact location will be determined by the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). It will be connected via an underground 33kV cable.
  • As the exact location of the grid connection point hasn’t been confirmed, the grid route is not finalised. This is not unusual.
  • An application will be made to Perth and Kinross Council for the cable route once the DNO confirms our grid connection point.

Are the solar panels recycled at the end of the project?

  • In most cases, up to 99% of a solar panel is recyclable.
  • There are well-established processes for this in the UK, companies like PV Cycle UK have dedicated infrastructure and work closely with producers to ensure compliance with legislation.
  • You can find out more about panel recycling and the materials used in Everything Under the Sun: The Facts about Solar.
  • Collace Solar Farm’s panels will be recycled.

What is glint and glare and will it affect aviation in the area?

  • Glint and glare refers to reflected light emitted from solar panels.
  • We are conducting a glint and glare assessment, which will be submitted to Perth and Kinross Council as part of our planning application.
  • The assessment will consider any potential reflected light from the solar panels on roads, houses and aviation receptors.
  • Initial findings suggest that with our proposed mitigation measures there will be no significant impacts on surrounding road users or houses.
  • It also suggests that there will be no significant impacts on aviation activity at local airfields and RAF Perth.
  • Perth and Kinross Council will invite aviation authorities and stakeholders to comment on the application.

How do you decide how far to have panels from residential properties?

  • Some developers incorporate standard offsets from residential properties but these tend to account for other aspects such as noise or glint and glare.
  • For the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) offsets are determined on a site-specific and site-by-site appraisal looking at the combinations of local landform/land cover variations, elevation, property orientation, distance and aspect.

All of these play a part in determining the extent of view available.

  • Our LVIA will be published on Perth and Kinross Council’s planning portal once we submit our planning application and it will include a full description of the methodology.

How do you determine which properties require a Residential Visual Amenity Assessment?

  • At the scoping stage, the local authority will request a separate Residential Visual Amenity Assessment (RVAA) where effects are anticipated to be significant and unacceptable on a number of properties.
  • The appropriate test is whether or not a property would become an ‘unattractive’ place in which to live due to the proposed development.
  • If the council doesn’t request an RVAA, the LVIA usually addresses the issues within the main assessment summaries.
  • We usually only do RVAAs for section 36 solar farms and those that wrap around most adjacent sides of a property.

Does the Residential Visual Amenity Assessment consider road users?

  • Effects of driving through the development are dealt with in the main assessment (LVIA) as they are from public places and of public interest.
  • We usually note who will be using the road, foe example local community/residents, tourists or just road users travelling through the area.

Do you pay compensation or offer other forms of mitigation to property owners where residents consider living conditions will be affected or their amenities diminished?

  • We include mitigation, such as screening, in our planning applications.
  • We voluntarily offer a community benefit fund.

Community benefit fund questions

As a company do you register community benefit packages with a relevant community benefit register so that delivery can be monitored?

  • Solar2 and Recurrent Energy will work with the community council or local people to establish a local development trust, or similar, that will handle the funds.
  • In Scotland, charities are monitored by the Scottish Charity Regulator (, which decides which organisations pass the charity test and requires specific accountancy and governance standards.
  • We recommend registering the fund with Local Energy Scotland.

What is your community benefit rate per installed megawatt per annum?

  • There is no national guidance for solar on the rate of community benefit, and many solar developers offer nothing at all.
  • We offer a payment of £500 per MW per annum.
  • This is the only benefit scheme we offer.

Do you index link the community benefit fund for the duration of the project?

  • No, it is not index-linked.
  • This reflects the fact that the impacts reduce with time as screening grows and is established.

As a company are you willing to set up a separate forum for consultation on the community benefit package?

  • We asked for people’s views on how the community benefit fund could be best used on our feedback form. We’ll be compiling those responses, and the ones we’ve had by email and phone, as part of our Pre-Application Consultation report, which will be submitted with our planning application.
  • Usually community councils are the first port of call for developers who wish to provide a community benefit fund. When we first contacted residents the area didn’t have one; it is now being established.
  • We have tried to establish a community liaison group, but it hasn’t had much response. Four households initially responded to forming a group, but the initial meeting was attended by far more people and we didn’t get to have the envisaged discussion or make much progress.
  • We emailed residents in February suggesting a meeting in May and asking whether there would be interest in inviting third-party speakers who could offer advice on how to set up a fund - we had just one reply.
  • When we first contacted residents, there was no active community council.
  • It therefore might be best for the new community council to progress the fund, which they can do in consultation with residents closest to the site.

Does the company have a defined procedure for determining an appropriate geographical area that makes up the ‘area of benefit’ for its solar developments?

  • It’s different for every development, but with solar farms, it tends to be areas immediately adjoining the site.
  • We would suggest a 1km boundary but support this being decided locally by the community council or a community liaison group.

Does the company have a draft legal agreement or a document with key terms that should be considered when drafting the Community Benefits Agreement?

  • Yes.

Do the commitments in your legal agreements transfer to the site operator if the development is sold?

  • Yes.