5th December 2019 Public Power Solutions (PPS), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, has submitted a planning application to Cotswold District Council on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence to build a solar farm at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire.
Working alongside the Army’s delivery partner, The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), PPS also carried out all the project development work, including feasibility studies and grid works. This is the first in a pilot programme which could see up to 6 MWp solar PV in total installed across four Army sites throughout the country over the next year as part of the Army’s commitment to greening its estate; helping reduce the UK’s overall carbon emissions and contribute to the UK’s legally-enshrined Net Zero 2050 target.
The 1.4 MWp Duke of Gloucester Barracks project, at South Cerney, near Cirencester, would generate enough solar power for the equivalent of 350 typical homes, saving approximately 400 tonnes of CO2 per year. It will be connected by ‘private wire’ to the Barracks – meaning the energy generated will be consumed on site - accounting for around one third of its total energy usage over a year.
Major General David Southall CBE, Director of the Army’s Basing and & Infrastructure organisation, said: “We are very excited at the opportunity to drive greater sustainability into the Army estate. We remain wholly committed to becoming more energy efficient and this is an excellent example of the innovation we will harness to enable this.”
Approximately 5200 panels will be installed on the 2.4 hectare site. Proposals also include improvements to the grassland maintenance of the site with additional biodiversity enhancements for birds and reptiles on other areas of the barracks.
Steve Cains, Head of Public Power Solutions, PPS, said: “We’re really excited to be working on another solar project for the Army. The site at Duke of Gloucester Barracks is ideal for solar generation. This project shows that in the right conditions, subsidy-free solar is a viable option for public sector organisations looking to reduce their carbon emissions. We look forward to continuing to support the Army on this programme of solar deployment on sites across the Army estate.”
The Duke of Gloucester Barracks is currently home to the British Army’s 104 Logistic Support Brigade and 29 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps with approximately 550 personnel living and working there.
This is the second project PPS has worked on with the MoD. In 2015 it completed the procurement for Lyneham solar farm at the Defence Technical and Training College on the former RAF Lyneham airbase in Wiltshire, which at 70MW is one of the largest solar farms in the UK.