Pupils play part in opening solar farm
5:30am Thursday 4th September 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
PUPILS from South Marston Primary School helped officially open the village’s new solar farm yesterday.
The Sevor Farm Solar project has been overseen by energy firm Eneco UK, which has regularly worked with the community while building the 43-acre farm, which is made up of 40,000 panels.
Power from the farm, off Nightingale Lane, is supplying the nearby Honda plant.
Building work started in January and the solar farm has been running since April.
As part of yesterday’s official ceremony, nine-year-old Pheobe Young unveiled a sign at the entrance to the site, bearing the logo she designed for the solar farm.
Pheobe won a competition which Eneco held with South Marston Primary School.
She said: “It felt really good to win the competition and I’m pleased with my sign design.”
During the event residents living near the farm were given a guided tour of the site.
Eneco managing director Guy Madgwick said: “Today’s event has been really symbolic of the achievement that is Sevor Farm Solar.
“While we are proud of the build of the project, its output and significance to Eneco as our largest onshore solar project, we are most of all extremely appreciative of the co-operation and warm welcome given to us from the local community.”
As part of the solar farm project, Eneco, has supported a 20mph speed reduction zone in the village, flood mitigation works and footpath improvements to encourage walking and cycling in South Marston.
Parish councillor Barry Thunder said: “There is always a bit of scepticism with sites like this but Eneco has bent over backwards to integrate themselves with the village. The standard of the work is very impressive too.”
During the event, Pheobe and her friends from South Marston Primary School planted flower seeds on a footpath by the site.
South Marston Primary School headteacher Luke Maddison said: “We are delighted to be playing a part in this major project in the village. “Our children have been learning about renewable energy and working with Eneco has helped with their studies.”