Primrose Solar has begun generating power at the new Merston Solar Farm, which is expected to become one of the first ‘5 and 5’ schemes in the UK under the government’s shared-ownership framework.

The 5MW site is expected to generate power equivalent to 2,100 typical homes per year and constitutes half of a project acquired from Solstice Renewables in October last year. The remaining half of the 10MWp site will be owned and operated by the local community, with Meadow Blue Community Energy raising over £1.16 million through a community share offer in November.

The project programme for the remaining half of the site is being finalised, with construction expected to begin within months with a view for the remainder of the solar farm to be energised in the summer.

Giles Clark, chief executive of Primrose Solar, said: “We’re very pleased that one of the country’s first 5 & 5 shared ownership solar projects is now halfway to completion. We know that projects like this are really popular with local communities.

“Merston will make an important contribution to local and national renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, helping the government to achieve the climate change commitments it recently made in Paris. This is a very good solar site with the best light levels in the country.”

The solar farm will save an estimated 2,150 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. As with all Primose Solar and Solstice Renewables sites, a bespoke programme of ecological and biodiversity enhancement will be implemented, with sheep grazing between the panels in autumn and winter. Primrose will also be continuing Solstice’s programme of educational activities with local schools.