Council to build solar farm after successful bond offer

A second successful round of green bonds mean a new solar farm will be operational earlier than expected. The 5MW Chapel Farm Solar Park in Blunsdon, Swindon, is to enter construction […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A second successful round of green bonds mean a new solar farm will be operational earlier than expected.

The 5MW Chapel Farm Solar Park in Blunsdon, Swindon, is to enter construction next week after Abundance Energy’s solar bonds to help finance the project sold out more than a month ahead of schedule.

The bond scheme raised more than £2.4 million, with the remaining £3 million in costs being provided by Swindon Borough Council.

The construction of the solar farm will take 10 weeks to be completed – in this time, a total of 18,860 panels will be installed, enough to provide 1,200 local homes with electricity.

It will be built on an old landfill site and developed by Public Power Solutions (PPS), a company owned by the council.

Its profits will be channelled back into community initiatives to help Swindon move closer to its goal of 200MW of installed renewable capacity by 2020, which would be enough to power every home in the borough.

The Chapel Farm project will bring the current figure to 167MW, more than 80% of the way there.

Steve Cains, Head of Power Solutions, PPS, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the outstanding success of Swindon’s second solar bond offer, which has proved attractive to over 800 individual investors who understand not only the environmental benefits of solar power but also the financial model.

“Yet again PPS has shown how innovative funding – this time including the tax-free advantages of an ISA – which puts the local community first can deliver winning solutions.”