Glastonbury founder installs UK’s biggest PV array

The founder of the world’s biggest music festival, Glastonbury, has installed the country’s largest PV array on the roof of a barn at the festival site – a working farm in Somerset.
Michael Eavis has installed an array of 1,116 PV panels on the roof of a cowshed he calls the Mootel. It’s thought to be the largest private solar electric array in Great Britain, able to power the equivalent of 40 homes.
Speaking about the 20-tonne array, Eavis says, “We had to make a big statement – and this is what we’ve done.”
The electricity generated by the PV array will be used to power Eavis’ 1,500 acre Worthy Farm and the annual Glastonbury Festival, a pilgrimage for around 170,000 festival-goers, whose presence require 15MW at peak. Surplus will be fed into the National Grid.
Usually the festival requires more than 200 diesel-powered generators, but Eavis has calculated that his array can produce 200kW, save around 100 tonnes of carbon per year and earn him £60k in FITs, producing a return on investment before 2020.
Eavis has been impressed by the ease with which he installed the array and the hope is that other landowners will follow in his footsteps.
Meanwhile, planning officers in Somerset are being urged to make it easier for homeowners, landlords and farmers to receive the necessary permissions to install PV arrays of any size.
After March 2012, any new microgeneration units will receive a lower FIT than the entitlement for earlier installations.
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