The NFU's chief adviser for renewable energy and climate change will be helping to welcome visitors to one of Britain’s largest solar farms as part of Solar Independence Day which takes place later this week.
Dr Jonathan Scurlock will be at Kencot Hill, near Carterton in west Oxfordshire on 3 July. Kencot Hill is a 37-megawatt project on a 127-acre former WW2 airfield, completed last year by Conergy UK for RWE Energy, and now owned by Foresight.
Solar Independence Day (3-4 July 2015) is organised by the Solar Trade Association and is part of an educational push to communicate the benefits of all applications of solar power, and the need for more stable energy policy measures to support the growth of this new industry, which offers greater energy security and 'energy independence' to all kinds of businesses and homes in Britain.
A total of seven solar farms will be open to visitors from the public, student groups and the press – alongside five examples of large commercial solar roofs, numerous domestic housing schemes and a historic building.
Ahead of the day, Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association said: “Solar Independence Day will show how versatile this technology is. We’ve got everything from a housing estate in Northumberland to a stately home in Aberdeenshire, a community solar farm in Hampshire to a waste facility in Berkshire, all generating clean, green home-grown electricity.”
It is estimated that the UK now has almost 8GW of solar PV, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses and in solar farms. This is enough to power the equivalent of 2.4million homes securing 30,000 jobs in the sector and its supply chain.
The biggest event will be taking place in Ashington, Northumberland, where almost 400 homes have had solar installed on their roofs. Schools are also involved, with a group of Brighton schoolchildren set to visit a solar farm in West Sussex. And on a solar farm in Worcestershire guests will be treated to ‘sunny honey’ on toast, made by the bees on that very solar farm.