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Farm's solar installation goes live

A Herefordshire chicken farmer has flicked the switch on the UK’s largest privately-owned solar photovoltaics installation, which boasts 1,600 solar panels.

The panels cover 2,000 sq metres of south-facing roof at Roger Bowen’s Brooklands Farm. The 300kw system will provide 55 per cent of the farm’s annual electricity needs. The installation is 100kw larger than a system owned by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis.

The clean electricity generated will be used on site for lighting, powering machinery and to help with the electrical needs of the farm’s heating and ventilation systems. Any unused electricity will be sold back to the grid, providing homes with green electricity.

However, despite the benefits of Mr Bowen’s installation, it could be one of the last of its type.

The coalition Government has said that all large-scale installations (50kw or more) will have their subsidies cut, meaning they may not be as cost-effective for farmers and investors.