The site is runway 31 at the former World War Two Westcott airfield, which is currently used as a business park.

It could, it’s claimed by the backers, be the UK’s first functioning solar park and could also take advantage of the Government’s Feed-In Tariffs incentive scheme.

The brownfield site, which when under construction, will see 1,500 solar panels installed to run the nearby Wescott Business Park and could eventually generate up to 1.2MW in power.

The scheme is funded by Rockspring Property Investment Managers who are advised by renewable energy company Ownergy and the brown-field site is, according to its backers, one of the first to obtain planning permission to build a solar park.

The solar park will be eligible for the renewable electricity Feed-In Tariffs, and, as Rockspring will be able to use nearly all of the generated power onsite for its business tenants, the annual returns are predicted to average more than 10%.

Rockspring Property Investment Manager’s head of UK asset management, Rod Mordey, said: “This flagship project underlines Rockspring’s commitment to sustainability and will greatly assist with our long term goal of powering Westcott with 100% renewable energy.”

Ownergy chairman, Philip Wolfe, said: “This location is absolutely perfect for a solar park. It is an excellent use for this ‘brown-field’ site.

“The business in the Westcott Venture Park will be able to use the electricity we produce and so maximise the financial return for Rockspring.

“This is exactly the sort of project the Feed-In Tariffs were designed to support.”

Luke Walsh

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