Work has begun on the British Army’s first solar farm as part of a major project expected to deliver £1million in efficiency savings and a massive reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
The project will support the Government’s commitment to meet Net Carbon Emissions by 2050.
The solar farm being built at the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield is the first of four photovoltaic solar farm sites to be built on the Army’s vast estate as part of Project PROMETHEUS which will increase renewable energy across the Defence Estate.
When built it will cover an area the size of six football pitches and will be capable of generating up to one third of the electricity needed on site. It will produce enough power to supply much of the site’s infrastructure including the single soldiers and family’s accommodation the offices, classrooms and gym. The cost savings will be invested into Army infrastructure and help to reach the Army’s ambition of Net Zero by 2050.
Colonel Chris Henson, Commandant of Defence School of Transport said: “We are delighted that the Defence School of Transport site was chosen as the first solar farm site within Defence, as part of the Army’s Project PROMETHEUS.
“The whole organisation is working hard to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable, and it is something we are certainly focussing on at the Defence School of Transport. We acknowledge that we are a long way off becoming carbon neutral, but it is something that the Defence School of Transport Conservation Team and Defence are working towards for the future.”
Major General David Southall, Director Basing and Infrastructure and the Army’s Sustainability Champion said: “The Army remains wholly committed to play its part in meeting the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. To deliver, we are working hard to reduce energy demand as well as increase ‘green’ supply across our estate.
He continued: “Project PROMETHEUS is an exciting pilot which will showcase renewable energy generation across the Army estate. When operational, we will learn from our four pilot sites and scale-up fast across the wider Army estate to help decarbonise the power we use.”
The three remaining solar farms scheduled for construction will be based at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks, South Cerney, Gloucestershire, Rock Barracks in Suffolk and Baker Barracks on Thorney Island, Sussex. All three are scheduled to be delivered by Summer 2021 with the aspiration to deliver approximately 80 more across the Army estate over the next seven years.
Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Project PROMETHEUS is an example of how Defence is actioning its all-encompassing approach to reducing carbon emissions and increasing sustainability, announced last week.
“The Army, through Prometheus, is showing our commitment to positive green initiatives, driving impressive energy efficiency savings.”