Bignell Park Farm, a 300-acre estate in Chesterton, Oxfordshire is now benefitting from several solar PV systems, installed on buildings and land throughout the estate.

Charlie Lane Fox, who jointly owns Bignell Park Farm with his father, decided to install a 3.8kW solar PV system installed on the roof of his onsite home shortly after the feed-in tariff was introduced. Renewable energy specialists Ardenham Energy completed the installation in 2010.

Having seen the financial advantages of this system Fox then decided to see whether similar benefits could be achieved with the commercial premises on the estate. Finance for this project was easily gained through an agricultural mortgage as well as rate relief provided through the EU. Now all 11 commercial buildings have each had their own individual 3.8kW solar PV systems installed by Ardenham Energy.

Clare Walder, Office Manager at the College Group’s Oxfordshire office, one of the commercial tenants at Bignell Park, said: “We are looking forward to benefitting from reduced energy costs and will be closely monitoring our energy bills going forward. We are also pleased to be acting in a sustainable and responsible way.”

Ardenham Energy also installed a 50kW system on a field on the estate.

“We all want to do our bit for the planet but as landowners and farmers we can only really do this if it stacks up financially too. Installing solar PV ticks both boxes and is helping us to secure the long-term viability of our business by diversifying into new areas,” Fox explained.

“The service provided by Ardenham Energy was fantastic. They appreciated we were working to a tight deadline and everyone involved from the designers of the system, through to the installers and the back office people were tremendously professional and responsive,” he concluded.