Construction underway on new solar park in Swindon

Construction work is underway to transform a former landfill site near Blunsdon in Swindon into a solar park.

Developed by Public Power Solutions (PPS), the building work at Chapel Farm - which is expected to take 10 weeks to complete - follows a second successful council bond offer from Swindon Borough Council (SBC) and Abundance Investment.

The bonds, which were the first solar energy investment eligible to be held tax-free in a green energy ISA introduced by the Government last year, sold out before Christmas having raised more than £2.4 million from the local community and across the UK. The remaining £3 million construction cost is being invested directly by Swindon Borough Council.

Steve Cains, head of Power Solutions (PPS) said: “We’re extremely pleased with the outstanding success of Swindon’s second solar bond offer, which has proved attractive to over 800 individual investors who understand not only the environmental benefits of solar power but also the financial model.

“Yet again PPS has shown how innovative funding – this time including the tax-free advantages of an ISA - which puts the local community first can deliver winning solutions.

“Chapel Farm will give a new lease of life to an ex-landfill site: as a solar farm, a managed biodiversity hotspot, and as a place for sheep to graze for part of the year. The income from the solar farm will also help the Council install a noise barrier along the A419 bringing further benefits for residents.”

With 18,860 panels being installed at the site, the solar park is expected to generate enough electricity to power around 1,200 homes.

Steve Cains added: “The early closing of the bond offer was a great Christmas present for everyone involved – and now we’re looking forward to a happy green New Year as we complete this innovative project and help Swindon move closer to its target of powering the equivalent of every home with renewables by 2020.”

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