Sunshine harvest

CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council’s Farms Estate is celebrating the successful installation of solar panels on four barn roofs.

Panels are now up and generating electricity on four tenant farms including one at Parsons Drove.

The panels are already reaping returns and are projected to produce 70,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) per year over the 25 years of the Governments Feed in Tariff scheme, that’s enough to supply 20 houses each year.

Although only erected a month ago, the four sites have already produced more than 4,000 kwh, saving 2.4 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere. The tenant farmers at each site will use this energy, with any surplus being exported to the National Grid.

The Cambridgeshire Farms Estate has 13,500ha and 250 tenant farmers, making it the largest of its kind in England and Wales.

The solar panels have been funded through the Better Utilisation of Property Assets (BUPA) project, where the Council invest in the estate to improve financial returns and increase the value of the farms.

Councillor Steve Count said: “We are very excited about this renewable energy project as it helps the Council reduce CO2 production, whilst giving farm tenants access to cheaper electricity. Altogether a sound investment. The project also helps to encourage employment in agricultural areas and supports rural business.”