Maj Gen Richard Clements CBE and Lt Col Elizabeth Sedgwick unveiling the plaque at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks. Image: British Army.

A new 3,000 photovoltaic (PV) panel solar farm has opened at Duke of Gloucester Barracks in South Cerney.

Spanning 1.1 hectares, the solar farm brings the Defence estate’s total to three operating solar sites, each said to generate a third of the electricity required on site, resulting in estimated savings of £250,000 a year.

The Army’s first solar farm – delivered by Centrica Business Solutions – was a 2.3MW site which opened in 2021 at the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield. The other two completed sites – Baker Barracks on Thorney Island (February 2022) and the Duke of Gloucester Barracks- have been delivered by renewable energy installer 3ti.

The fourth site will open at Rock Barracks this summer in Suffolk and will also be delivered by 3ti.

When the fourth planned solar farm is operational, the Army expects combined savings of £1 million for its energy bills.

Major General Richard Clements CBE, director of basing and infrastructure opened the solar farm and said: “I am delighted to open the new solar farm at Duke of Gloucester Barracks. This installation represents another significant step forward to showcase the potential of renewable energy generation, in support of the Army’s commitment to Defence targets for Net Zero.

“By reducing energy demand and increasing ‘green’ supply, we are building a more sustainable Army estate that protects both our operational capability and the environments where our people live, work and train.”

The solar farms form part of and are funded by the Army’s Project Prometheus. Delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the scheme aims to increase the renewable energy generation across the Army, specifically through ground-mounted solar PV.

“We are delighted to be involved in the Project Prometheus rollout through design and build of three major solar installations for the British Army,” said CEO at 3ti, Tim Evans.

“We are extremely proud to be playing a role in supporting the Ministry of Defence to deliver on its sustainable initiatives, while setting the Army on a path to a bright, renewable future.”

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