Braydon Manor is an award-winning 9.1 MW solar farm built on privately owned low-grade farmland near Purton, formerly used as pasture for grazing horses. It was energised in 2015.
The landowners approached PPS to develop a scheme that would produce a secure rental income for a 25-year period. The project was funded and built by Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy (WWCE), an independent community enterprise set up by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to develop, finance and operate community owned renewable energy projects.
WWCE raised £3 million to finance the project in a community share offer managed by Mongoose Energy.
As well as generating enough power to supply the equivalent of 2,500 homes, the solar farm will save 3,900 tonnes of carbon per year. The land around the solar panels is being used to create a ecological hotspot, sown with green hay from a nearby nature reserve and with sheep grazing to keep down the grass.
The project was named Best Renewable Energy Scheme at the 2015 Regen Green Energy Awards.
This is a fantastic recognition of the importance that community energy schemes now represent in terms of bringing more people into renewables and doing it in a sustainable way with profits being kept in the community. We’d like to thank our partners, Mongoose Energy, for their support in both securing investment and their help to get the project running effectively and profitable as well as Public Power Solutions and Triodos Bank.
Director of Business and Commercial Services for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust