Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light

Let there be light under this cold November sky because without it, these solar panels are just ornamental. Installed quite recently on a brown field site just outside Hexham, the panels track the movement of the sun thereby producing up to 45% more yield compared with fixed-mounted PV installations. Strangely, Google throws up no information on this particular project so I have no idea of the total site yield, nor who benefits – maybe it just feeds into the National Grid.  The site is dual purpose – solar panels and around their base, self-storage units – an odd, if imaginative combination.  I notice that the entire installation is under 24-hour camera surveillance; I trust nothing untoward happens in the near future or I can expect a call from the men in blue:

Solar panelSolar panelSolar panelSolar panel

(click on the images to enlarge).  Anyone familiar with Hexham will recognise the iconic column of steam in the last image; it is rising from the Egger plant and drifting east down the Tyne Valley.  It is such a constant that it provides a handy daylight reference for small aircraft approaching Newcastle Airport from the west.

Following Susan Judd’s fine example, this is a combined Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light & Travel Theme: Sky


  1. Greg Urbano · December 1, 2013

    Great take on challenge!

    • northumbrianlight · December 1, 2013

      Thanks Greg – for once I actually went and took some new photos rather than lazily raiding the archive.

  2. Tina Schell · December 1, 2013

    A perfect subject AND an ecology lesson 🙂 Well done!

    • northumbrianlight · December 1, 2013

      Thanks Tina – not sure I should be giving ecology lessons, my green credentials are pretty thin.

  3. LaVagabonde · December 1, 2013

    Are those storage units for rent to anyone? Or are they off limits to the general population?

    • northumbrianlight · December 1, 2013

      Anyone can hire one of the units Julie – there are loads down there but I am not sure why they think there is such a demand in a market town like Hexham. I am always a bit suspicious of what might be lurking in some of them but that’s because I probably watch too many Nordic crime dramas 🙂

      • LaVagabonde · December 1, 2013

        We’re on the same wavelength. Whenever I see storage containers, I can’t help but think “body parts in formaldehyde”.

      • northumbrianlight · December 1, 2013

        Exactly 🙂

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be 75,000 watts of light! | Humbled Pie
  5. restlessjo · December 1, 2013

    That’s a very clever take on the challenge 🙂 I was whizzing through the Reader looking for something in particular but I had to stop for a closer look!

    • northumbrianlight · December 1, 2013

      Thanks Jo – “too clever by half” as my Dad would have once said 🙂

  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Let There Be Light | Joe's Musings
  7. Jo · December 1, 2013

    Just beautiful.

    • northumbrianlight · December 2, 2013

      Thanks Jo – they are quite attractive pieces of engineering and have far less impact on the landscape than wind turbines although I suppose it depends on how many there are.

  8. jhplastic · December 2, 2013

    Solar pole mount systems click here

  9. Tish Farrell · December 2, 2013

    I know of a struggling farmer whose fortunes have been turned around by farming energy. The solar panels on some of his acreage is also handy for sheltering his sheep when the weather turns nasty. I always like it when you can find at least 2 uses for something (not including body part storage). Like your shots too. Very striking.

    • northumbrianlight · December 2, 2013

      Thanks Tish. I have no experience of solar panels but I was closely involved with installation of a 6kWh wind turbine at my golf club. It has been a real asset but only because we managed to attract 98% government grant funding – a total non-starter without. I am a bit of a cynic about such things – I may have said this before – I am more Jeremy Clarkson than James Lovelock – more Ghia, than Gaia 🙂

  10. ron jamieson · December 2, 2013

    Great pictures robin FYI, each tracker is rated at 9Kwp and in this case all the power generated is fed back into the grid. We will monitor the annual performance and payback. You may also want to photo our mid range 15 panel tracker soon to be ‘planted’ at Brockbushes.

    • northumbrianlight · December 2, 2013

      Thanks Ron – I didn’t appreciate it was a Tracksun project. One of these at the golf club would have been really impressive 🙂 Let me know when you are back and we can catch up…happy to take a trip to Brockbushes on the Ducati 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · December 3, 2013

      PS – my golfing buddy (Mike) points out that the ones at the front are casting a shadow on the ones behind – #designfault 🙂

  11. socialbridge · December 3, 2013

    Brilliant interpretation and photos.

    • northumbrianlight · December 3, 2013

      Many thanks – turns out I know one of the people responsible for the project – it’s a small world 🙂

  12. joshi daniel · December 4, 2013

    first one is my favorite 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · December 4, 2013

      Thanks Joshi – mine too. It was the first one I took and knew it was the best but I was there so just took some more. If I was using film maybe I would have stopped at one exposure 🙂

  13. terry · December 4, 2013

    Hi , Great photos!

    My client (who set up the panels) would like to use your pictures in return for a credit on their website, interested?

  14. Pingback: Sunlight | Processing the life
  15. Mélanie · December 4, 2013
    • northumbrianlight · December 4, 2013

      My word! You could do some serious damage with that – better than your average egg fryer 🙂

  16. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award | Babsje Heron
  17. babsje · December 12, 2013

    Wonderful, striking arrays! I have granted you the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you enjoy it. I can totally understand if you do not wish to participate. I think your blog is wonderful and wanted you to know that.


    • northumbrianlight · December 12, 2013

      Many thanks for your kind and generous words and the nomination. Forgive me, I am just not very good at getting round to these things – there is no hidden agenda, I am just lazy 🙂

      • babsje · December 12, 2013

        You’re welcome, and I totally understand about the down-side to awards, the amount of effort involved, so please don’t apologize. Your blog is a treasure, just keep on doing what you do so well.

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