Plans for the UK’s largest solar farm have moved on to the next stage after Swindon Borough Council gave its approval to the project.
The 40MW development is set to be built on a former airfield at Wroughton in Wiltshire. The farm’s 160,000 panels – spread across 170 acres – should generate enough power for around 12,000 homes.
If the plans come to fruition, the project should take the title of ‘UK’s largest solar farm’ from a 34MW project built on another disused airfield at Wymeswold in Leicestershire.
The Wroughton site is owned by the Science Museum Group and is used to store 30,000 objects from its national reserve collections. The project is being developed by Swindon Commercial Services – a subsidiary of the council – alongside the the group.
Matt Moore, Head of Wroughton Site for the Science Museum Group said: “Solar farms should be sited appropriately and sensitively – this is a great location. It’s semi-industrial land, close to a major town. It will provide a secure and reliable income to help the Science Museum continue our work conserving the national collections and improving conditions on site.
The town of Wroughton will receive £40,000 from the development to spend on local projects, every year for three decades, via a community benefit fund. Up to 5MW of the project will also be set aside for local residents to invest in, with the minimum spend set at £50.