United Kingdom

First-hand solar experience – Government site visits to Manor Farm, Eggington 

Last week, Lightsource bp was delighted to open the gates of our Manor Farm solar project in Eggington, Bedfordshire to allow several groups of parliamentarians and government officials to get up close and personal with the realities of ground-mount solar.

First up, members of the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero and His Majesty’s Treasury were given a tour of the 5MWp project by the Lightsource bp team, accompanied by Solar Energy UK CEO Chris Hewett. After being walked through the engineering and science of how solar produces electrons from photons, the groups had a demonstration of our panel-cleaning robot, and a chance to see first-hand how solar works alongside agriculture, demonstrated by the grazing sheep enjoying the shade below the panels.

In the afternoon, the Lightsource bp team were joined by members of the All Party Environment Group, chaired by Chris Skidmore MP. We took them through the site, accompanied by the landowner, Richard, and discussed the various ways in which Manor Farm and other Lightsource bp solar projects are designed to boost biodiversity and be compatible with farming.

Following the tour, we thankfully took to the shade for a quick question-and-answer session with the team to discuss the current challenges facing the solar industry, from grid connectivity waiting times to hurdles posed by the planning thresholds, and offered our guests the chance to take home a jar of our delicious solar honey, made by bees on our sites across the UK.

Both visits were a valuable opportunity for Lightsource bp to demonstrate the versatile reality of solar and the vast sustainability benefits in provides, and for key decision-makers to hear first-hand the challenges facing the UK solar industry. With measures put in place to combat these barriers, we will be able to meet the government’s target of 70GW of solar developed by 2035.

Take a look at the photos and watch the videos below to hear what our guests thought of the visit:

Chris Skidmore

MP

Chris Hewett

CEO, SEUK

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