Solar farm at Westbury powering 900 homes is owner's first

Saturday, 8th November 2014

Sourced from The Wiltshire Times - follow link to original article

A SOLAR park providing enough energy to power 900 homes is now fully operational at a former landfill site in Westbury.

The landfill took its last waste in 2004 and was fully restored to grassland before Viridor Waste Management submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council last year to create the company’s first solar park.

Built on the northern part of the site, it covers seven hectares and is designed to export 3,200MWh of electricity a year to the National Grid – enough energy to power almost 1,000 homes.

Viridor says the development is a wholly sustainable project that helps Wiltshire’s renewable energy targets and complies with local and national planning policy, as well as saving about 1,000tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Mike Denman, Viridor project manager, said: “We were able to use the electricity generation infrastructure already in place from the landfill gas engines and the grassland continues to support the local biodiversity.

“It is a first for Viridor and a first for the UK, as it is the first time that a solar park has been built on a municipal landfill site. The process has been very smooth and our contractor worked well to develop technical solutions to deal with difficulties.

“The ground made it tricky installing the panels as you would do normally, so our contractor had to use railway sleepers to fix the panels and stop them taking off like a kite.”

The 12,780-panelled solar park was built and installed for Viridor by Solar Century.

Work started on the site in May following planning approval from Wiltshire Council, with the park generating power from the beginning of August.

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