Army’s first ever solar farm opens at Yorkshire training barracks

Army’s first ever solar farm opens at Yorkshire training barracks
More than 4,000 panels installed at training base in bid to reduce carbon emissions by 700 tonnes a year

The British Army has opened its first ever solar farm to power one of its main training bases, as the force move to become more climate friendly.

More than 4,000 panels have been installed at the sprawling Defence School of Transport site in Leconfield, East Yorkshire.

Officials say it will cut 700 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, while also reducing electricity bills by a third.

It is the first of four pilot schemes, which, if successful, will see another 80 such farms built across the army estate over the next decade.

Accommodation, hangers, classrooms and gyms will all be powered at the DST by the new farm with hopes that some power will be left over to pump back into the national grid.

Major General David Southall, director of basing and infrastructure, said: “Our first operational solar farm at Leconfield marks a key milestone in the Army’s go-green agenda.

“It showcases our firm commitment to tackle the effects of climate change, harnessing renewable energy to power our estate.

Referring to plans to build 80 such farms, he added: “We continue to think big, start small, scale fast.”

Jeremy Quin, minister for defence procurement, said the development reaffirmed the government’s commitment to making the UK net zero by 2050.

He confirmed that the three other pilots were now under construction at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire, Rock Barracks in Suffolk, and Baker Barracks in Sussex.

It is hoped that, combined, the four schemes will make £1m in efficiency savings and reduce emissions by 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

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