It has been built on private land at Worthy Farm on the Glastonbury Festival site.

The plant will generate enough electricity to meet 80% of the farm’s electricity demand, equivalent to 40 households and will save around 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, 2,000 tonnes over its lifetime. Excess power will be exported to the grid.

The system, installed on the roof of Worthy Farm’s cow shed, contains more than 1,100 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof.

The PV modules generate direct current electricity which is converted into alternating current by two large inverters.

With the benefit of the government’s new feed-in tariff for renewable energy, the payback time for the system is expected to be about nine years. The system is designed to keep operating for at least 20 years.

Michael Eavis said: “We now not only do the best festival in the world, we also have the best solar power system.”

Several companies were involved in the project. The installation was done by Solarsense, a Bristol-based company. The modules were manufactured by Romag in County Durham. The grid connection was provided by Western Power Distribution and the inverters were supplied by Swiss company Sputnik Engineering. A loan to enable the project to proceed was made available by Triodos Bank.

The solar plant is part of the work Glastonbury is undertaking in its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Glastonbury’s aim is to make the festival one of the greenest events in the world through the campaign Love the Farm, Leave No Trace.

Alison Brown

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