A £100 million energy park which will meet the current and future power needs of Kettering has been announced.
The huge 1,100 acre park, which will create almost 400 new jobs, will include a wind farm, hundreds of solar panels, a biomass energy plant and anaerobic digestion facilities.
It will be the first park of its kind in the UK.
First Renewable, the firm behind the park, say the scheme will meet Kettering’s current power needs as well as offsetting the future 5,500 home Kettering East extension.
The park will be on land to the east of Burton Latimer and the first phase of development – a nine-turbine extension to the Burton Wold Wind Farm – is already under way.
Those turbines will provide enough electricity for about 11,000 homes and a community dividend of £300,000 will be payable to the community over the life of the scheme.
The second phase – on which public consultation will begin in March – is the development of a 40MW solar array – which First Renewable says will produce enough power for a further 7,000 homes.
Matthew Byrom, president of First Renewable, said: “The plans outlined today show a phased development of green technologies that will support the energy needs of Kettering.
“Our plans will see an investment in phase 1 and phase 2 alone of more than £100 million.”
Tony Watkins, CEO of First Renewable, added: “These proposals are a first for the UK and will put Kettering at the front of the competition for growth in the region.”
The project will create about 400 construction jobs, as well as 375 permanent positions once the scheme is completed.
Kettering councillor Michael Brown said: “The key thing is that Kettering is growing, and this will help it to keep growing at a strong and sustainable rate.
“This scheme will see about £113 million of inward capital investment in the area.
“On a strategic level, Kettering Council is very supportive of the project and I think it is an exciting one.”