Planners set to give solar farm project at Wymeswold Airfield the go-ahead
The county's first solar farm is set to be granted planning permission next week.
Lark Energy wants to install a £35 million array of solar panels on a 150-acre site at Wymeswold Airfield, near Loughborough.
The company says it could generate enough electricity each year to power 6,000 homes.
The three-metre high panels would stand at an angle between the runways of the airport, which is used for driving events. The plan has been under discussion since July, when the application was made to Charnwood Borough Council.
On Thursday, members of Charnwood's planning committee will make a decision on the application, with council officers recommending they agree to it.
Charnwood case officer Peter Blitz wrote in his report to councillors: "The development is of a kind that receives very considerable support in national and local planning policy. There must be a strong presumption in favour of it.
"It would take some 48 to 49 wind turbines of the size that can be seen to the east of the site to generate the same amount of power that would be generated by the solar farm."
Several solar farms had been planned for Leicestershire, but most were scrapped after the Government reduced the amount of subsidy people were paid for generating solar power last summer.
Energy companies also planned to build solar farms at Kirby Bellars and Asfordby, near Melton, but those plans were withdrawn. Plans for a solar farm near Lutterworth have been scaled down following the policy change, which sees the rate paid for solar power slashed from 30p per kilowatt hour to 8.5p. Charnwood borough councillor Jenny Bokor, who represents the Wolds, said: "I think this is a really good idea. There are 1,500 homes in all the Wolds villages and this could more than meet their needs."
Sileby and The Wolds county councillor Richard Shepherd said: "I've heard presentations by the proposers and read the officer's report and I await the outcome of the committee.
"There has been some concern expressed by Burton Parish Council and I hope the committee listens to all arguments and addresses them."
Jonathan Selwyn, Lark Energy's managing director, said the farm, which would take four to five months to build, would convert daylight into electricity, which would then be sold to a power company and distributed through the national grid.
He said: "It is environmentally friendly to get our energy from daylight. Daylight is free, easily accessible and it is unlimited, unlike fuels such as gas and coal, which will become increasingly scarce and, therefore, more expensive."