The British Army’s first photovoltaic Solar Farm has been officially opened by the Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, today.
Completed earlier this month and the size of almost eight football pitches, the solar farm is based at The Defence School of Transport (DST), Leconfield, and forms part of the British Army’s £200 million Project Prometheus investment which is designed to see the Army using renewable energy
Built by Centrica Business Solutions, the solar farm is made up of over 4,000 solar panels and is the first of four pilot sites to officially open. Across all four sites, the project estimates £1 million in efficiency savings and 2,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) annually, with saving costs due to be reinvested into essential Army infrastructure.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said:
Spanning approximately four hectares and with a peak capacity of 2.3Mega Watts, the solar panelled farm is projected to save 700 tonnes of carbon emissions and cut electricity bills by one third annually at DST.
A majority of the energy generated will be used onsite at DST to provide support to personnel based there. This may include powering accommodation, offices, hangars, classrooms and the gymnasium, whilst any surplus will be exported to the grid.
Outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, innovation and green initiatives will be at the forefront of a future Army, of which Project Prometheus forms a part. This is further supported by the £24 billion increase in spending over four years, as announced by the Prime Minister last November.
The Director of Basing and Infrastructure, Major General David Southall said:
To help reduce greenhouse emissions across Defence, the Army is investing the £200 million into its solar farms over the next 10 years. The initiative is designed to support the UK Government reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, Greg McKenna said:
Construction for the three additional pilot sites is already under way with the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire, Rock Barracks in Suffolk and Baker Barracks on Thorney Island, Sussex, due to open next year. 3Ti have been awarded the contract to deliver the construction of these sites.