A SECOND solar farm could be built by a Swindon Borough Council-owned company as part of efforts to make army bases around the country more eco-friendly.

Public Power Solutions submitted plans on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence to build the eco-friendly power generator at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks at South Cerney.

Approximately 5,200 panels could be installed on the 2.4 hectare former RAF airfield near Cirencester which would generate enough solar power for the equivalent of 350 typical homes, saving approximately 400 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The 1.4 megawatt Duke of Gloucester Barracks project will be connected by private wire to the barracks so that all the energy generated will be consumed on-site and account for around one third of its total energy usage over a year.

Director of the army’s basing and infrastructure organisation Maj Gen David Southall 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.”

The proposals include additional biodiversity enhancements for birds and reptiles on other areas of the barracks.

Working alongside the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, PPS carried out all the project development work, including feasibility studies and grid works. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council and will now have to wait and see if Cotswold District Council gives the go-ahead.

Head Steve Cains said: “We’re really excited to be working on another solar project for the army. This project shows that in the right conditions, subsidy-free solar is a viable option for public sector organisations looking to reduce their carbon emission


This is the first in a pilot programme which could see up four army sites throughout the country over the next year generating up to six megawatts as part of the army’s commitment to greening its estate


The Duke of Gloucester Barracks is 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. It is the second project PPS has worked on with the MoD. In 2015, it completed the procurement for 70 megawatt Lyneham solar farm at the Defence Technical and Training College - one of the largest solar farms in the UK.