BBC’s Top Gear studio fuelled by the sun

The aerodrome at Dunsfold Park in Surrey is infamous as the home of BBC’s Top Gear test track and studios. However, the park now has another claim to fame; Dunsfold Park has become one of the nation’s only business parks to be fed entirely on ‘green energy’.

Next time a ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ hurtles through the follow-through, viewers might also make out 8,500 ground-mounted solar panels flanking the track. The 2MW installation will provide the business park at Dunsfold Aerodrome with enough electricity during working hours to power the entire business park and any excess energy generated will be fed back into the National Grid.

The project was developed by Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd with funding provided by Octopus Investments. Under the agreement, Dunsfold Aerodrome lease Lightsource the required land for the solar installation and in return receive unlimited use of the electricity generated as Lightsource recoups its investment through the associated feed-in tariff income.   

“We are proud to announce Dunsfold Park as the latest addition to our portfolio. Events like this illustrate that utility size schemes are viable and Lightsource can deliver them,” commented Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource.

“The entire Dunsfold Park commercial estate is now being powered by the electricity produced by our solar plant during working hours. They will get significant energy bill savings by having just this one source.”

Jim McAllister, Chief Executive of Dunsfold Park added: “It’s wonderful. It very much fits in with our sustainable growth agenda.”

“It’s fantastic that the vast majority of our energy is now provided from a renewable source. Our focus on green technologies that help to reduce the aerodrome’s carbon footprint is coming to fruition.”