Wroughton solar farm plans to go on display

First published in Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

PLANS to build the largest solar farm in the country at an airfield in Wroughton will go on display tomorrow.

Swindon Commercial Services Ltd has partnered up with the Science Museum, which owns a former airfield just outside Wroughton, to create a 40MW solar farm.

It would comprise 160,000 solar panels and cover 200 acres of a former RAF site, now owned by The Science Museum at Wroughton.

Developers SCS said it could create enough energy to power 12,000 homes.

Plans will go on show at Ellendune Community Centre tomorrow between 2pm and 6pm.

The project will cost around £50m, but the backer has not yet been chosen.

James Owen, the project’s manager, said if the public consultation was asuccess, it would move to a planning application in April, work would start in September, and the park would be completed by Christmas.

The Science Museum took over the airfield in the 1970s and uses it to store exhibits that are not currently on display.

The flat land is classed as light industrial and covered in concrete and grass making it easy to instal.

Matt Moore, a spokesman for the Science Museum, said: “This idea will have a positive impact on the community and that is the point of the consultation to get other people’s views on it.

“The plans we have had previously are based around large public access, or using public funding to carry them out where as this has no adverse impact and will be no expense to the museum.

“This is a robust business plan and we are looking forward to working with SCS.”

SCS has so far only installed much smaller solar ventures on behalf of the council for example on the rooftops of colleges, leisure centres and accommodation.

The exhibition will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 10am-2pm at Peatmoor Community Primary School, Pepperbox Hill, Peatmoor, Swindon, SN5 5DP.

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