West Solent Solar Cooperative has partnered with Solarcentury to build a 2.4MW solar farm in Hampshire.

The solar farm will be situated on brownfield land – on the site of a former gravel pit. It is expected that the solar farm will generate enough electricity to power 600 local homes.

Around 500 people across the local area and other parts of the UK came together to the fund the project which ended up becoming oversubscribed.

Commenting on the project, Frans van den Heuvel, CEO at Solarcentury said: “We are extremely pleased to be bringing the benefits of clean solar electricity to an organisation that is making community-owned and managed renewable energy production a reality. Investing in the West Solent Solar Cooperative is a vote for solar, already the most popular form of renewable energy in the UK, and it’s also a vote for an independent, sustainable energy future in the UK, moving us away from expensive imported fossil fuel.”

Once the installation is complete, the solar farm site will be seeded with wildflowers in addition to bee hives being established onsite. Solarcentury adds that it believes solar farms should act as natural biological havens, something they are extremely suited for. In the autumn sheep will also graze in between the solar panels.

WSSC Chairman, Anthony Woolhouse, commented: “We were drawn towards working with Solarcentury because of the natural synergies between our organisation. We are certain this will be a solar project that the local community can feel proud of.”

Solarcentury expects the solar farm construction to take six weeks and is anticipating that the project will start feeding electricity into the grid on 27 June 2014. It is the largest community solar project it has worked on to date.