SWINDON has once again been heralded as a leading player in the field of solar power.

The team at council-owned waste and energy firm Public Power Solutions are celebrating after picking up a prestigious national award for their work on the Chapel Farm project.

PPS walked away with the 2017 APSE Service Award for best Renewable Energy Initiative for their work on the 5MW solar park installed on a former landfill site near Blunsdon.

The APSE awards are designed to recognise excellence in local government frontline services across the UK and are open to all local authorities and their public sector partners.

Bernie Brannan, managing director at PPS and corporate director of communities and housing at Swindon Borough Council, said: “We are very pleased that Swindon and PPS have been recognised for public sector excellence for Chapel Farm Solar Park.

"This new and innovative use for an ex-landfill site is helping create a cleaner, greener Swindon while supporting local community initiatives; it has enabled local people to invest and earn a tax-free return through the UK’s first green energy Innovative Finance ISA; and it is providing a stable income for the Council, at a time when budgets have never been tighter.”

Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: "Swindon is at the forefront of renewables and sustainability.

"This award is a real feather in the council’s cap and fantastic recognition for our innovative work on this project. The Chapel Farm solar offer built on the earlier success of our scheme at Common Farm in Wroughton and has contributed towards the council’s priority of supporting a low-carbon economy.

"The solar park has also helped to ensure we are well on track to hitting our renewable energy capacity target of 200MW by 2020.”

PPS and Swindon Borough Council beat seven other local authorities on the shortlist to win the award.