Solar panels installed at four of Cambs County Council’s farms estate

10:08 06 April 2012

From left: Dale Abblitt, Robert Smyth, CCC Principal Management Surveyor, and Cllr Steve Count, CCC Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance.

From left: Dale Abblitt, Robert Smyth, CCC Principal Management Surveyor, and Cllr Steve Count, CCC Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance.

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A FENLAND farm is among four of Cambridgeshire County Council’s farms estate to have solar panels installed.

The panels have been put onto barn roofs on farms at Parson Drove, Ramsey, Littleport and Shingay near Bassingbourn.

They have been funded through the Better Utilisation of Property Assets project, where the council invests in the estate to improve financial returns and increase the value of the farms.

It is projected that the panels will produce 70,000kWh per year over the 25 years of the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme - that’s enough to supply 20 houses each year.

Installed a month ago, the four sites have already produced more than 4,000kWh of energy, saving 2.4 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere. The tenant farmers at each site will use this energy, with any surplus being exported to the National Grid.

Councillor Steve Count, from March, Cabinet member with responsibility for the Farms Estate, and Principal Management Surveyor Robert Smyth visited tenant Dale Abblitt at his holding in Ramsey to see the new panels.

Dale said: “I’m really pleased that the council has invested in my holding and put panels on my barn. I benefit from lower electricity costs at a time when everyone is predicting conventional energy prices to rise.”

Councillor Count said: “We’re very excited about this renewable energy project as it helps the council reduce CO2 production, whilst giving farm tenants access to cheaper electricity. Altogether a sound investment.”

The Cambridgeshire Farms Estate has more than 33,000 acres and 250 tenant farmers, making it the largest of its kind in England and Wales.

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