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Glastonbury turns on solar power

The sun shone on the Glastonbury Festival site today as an excited crowd watched Festival Organiser Michael Eavis officially switch on Worthy Farm’s new solar electric
array. Michael said: “We now not only do the best festival in the world, we also have the best solar power system.”

More than 1,100 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the “Mootel”cowshed can generate enough power for 80% of the farm’s electricity demand and export excess to the grid. Saving more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, the system is part of the festival’s environmental commitment to “Love The Farm – Leave No Trace”. <

Facts and figures about the Worthy Farm solar photovoltaic system

•   The largest private solar electricity-generating system in the UK.

•   Generates enough electricity to meet the annual demand of 40 average
households.

•   Helps combat climate change by saving about 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

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

•   The PV modules generate direct current electricity which is converted into alternating current by two large inverters. The power can then either be used in Worthy Farm’s buildings, or, when there is more supply than demand, exported to
the grid.

•   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.

•   The installation was organised by Solarsense, based in Bristol.  The modules were manufactured by Romag in County Durham.  The grid connection was provided by Western Power Distribution.  The inverters have been supplied by Swiss company Sputnik Engineering.   A loan to enable the project to proceed was made available by Triodos Bank.

•   This is the latest initiative by Glastonbury Festival to reduce its environmental impact under the banner of “Love The Farm – Leave No Trace”. More
details at www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

You can see a short film from the launch by Harriet Hoare and Mandy Briggs on the Glastonbury site here  http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/newsa-film-from-the-solar-launch

Photo: (c) 2010 Matt Cardy and used with kind permission.