Solar Independence Day comes to Oxfordshire

solar open day
Kencot solar farm in Oxfordshire greeted visitors to the site of operation at full capacity, during an open day earlier this month.

Solar Independence Day, which saw a number of the UK’s largest PV sites welcome the general public to learn more about solar, coincided with a spell of sunshine and warm weather. This enabled the Oxfordshire site, consisting of more than 144,000 PV panels, to hit peak production and generate enough electricity for 11,000 homes.

The former airfield site near Burford occupies an area the size of 27 football pitches and is owned by Foresight Solar Fund. A raised viewing platform gave visitors a bird’s eye view of the site and thousands of ground mounted panels.

Dr Jonathan Scurlock, chief advisor on renewable energy and climate change to the National Farmers Union, said: “Many people don’t realise that solar farms can offer a haven for birds, reptiles, wildflowers and endangered bumblebees. In many cases, the land can continue to be used for agriculture with sheep grazing under and between the rows of panels.”

Ben Thompson, group managing director at Foresight, said: “Solar energy consistently proves to be the most popular when scored against other renewable energy technologies in public polls, and with no noise, no smoke, no pollution nor waste and a thriving haven for wildlife, it’s no wonder.”