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British Army’s First Solar Farm

British Army’s First Solar Farm
October 28, 2021 Waqar Qureshi

Project Prometheus is one of the initiatives employed by the British Army to support the UK Government in reaching net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Specifically, it aims to provide more renewable energy to the UK defence sector by creating solar farms around the UK, under an allocated budget of £200 million. Initially, four pilot sites are being built, across which an estimated £1 million in efficiency costs and 2000tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) will be saved annually. The savings from this project will be reinvested into the British Army. 

Changes Announced as Part of 2021 Budget

The first of these (actually the first solar farm ever built by the UK defence sector) was completed in September this year by Centrica Business Solutions. The site is located at the Army’s Defence School of Transport (DST) in Leconfield, Yorkshire. The 2.3MW solar farm comprises over 4000 solar panels and covers approximately four hectares, which is around the size of eight football pitches. Most of the energy generated will be used onsite at DST, and any surplus will be exported to the grid. This solar farm is estimated to save 700 tCO2e and reduce DST’s electricity bills by a third every year. 

Future Plans

The other three pilot sites are already being built, and all three are due to open by Summer 2021. According to Major General David Southall, the Director of Army Basing and Infrastructure, this is just the beginning as the British Army plan to build 80 solar farms within the next decade. Project Prometheus is only one of multiple ‘green’ projects being undertaken by the UK defence sector to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly British Army in the future. Some other notable initiatives include:

  • Project Taurus: This involves building solar carports at UK defence sites across the UK, the first of which will be constructed at British Army Headquarters with electric car charging ports and battery storage. 
  • Project Romulus: This involves developing an information system that will detail all buildings and facilities’ carbon footprint. This system will collect and collate data on how the British Army infrastructure operates, which will be then used to drive real-world decisions.

About Pager Power

Pager Power has a strong experience in assessing glint and glare generated by solar power plants and can help developers to determine the impact upon nearby receptors such as: nearby road users, residential amenity, aviation activity and railway infrastructure.  For more information about what we do, please get in touch. 

References

[1] GOV.UK, “British Army opens first solar farm,” 29 September 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-army-opens-first-solar-farm. [Accessed 27 October 2021].
[2] GOV.UK, “Army’s Solar Farms support commitment to Sustainability,” 7 April 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/armys-solar-farms-support-commitment-to-sustainability. [Accessed 27 October 2021].
Thumbnail image accreditation: Zbynek Burival (March 2018) from Unsplash.com. Last accessed on: 28th October 2021. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/V4ZYJZJ3W4M

 

 

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