Worthy Farm, home to Britain’s most famous music festival, Glastonbury, is now also known for its new solar photovoltaic array, installed on top of one of its cowsheds.

Owner Michael Eavis has always wanted to install something akin to a PV system, but it wasn’t until the Government’s introduction of the feed-in tariff that he was able to do so. Eavis is paid 29.3p per kilowatt hour of electricity his new system generates, cutting his carbon footprint as well as an earning an extra amount each year.

The so called ‘Mootel,’ which is home to the farm’s cows whilst the festival is on, was fitted with an array of solar panels by installation company Solarsense.


Solarsense liaised early on in the project with Weston Power Distribution, the farm’s distribution network operator (DNO), to help assess the feasibility of the project. That proved to be critical as the company identified a need to build a new substation to support the installation. At this stage it was also key to ensure that the finance was in place. Solarsense were able to provide information about the capital costs involved so that Mr. Eavis could hold discussions with Triodos Bank which helped to finance the project, and the inverter and module manufacturers.

As the Mootel had to support PV panels with a combined weight of 22.5 tonnes, Solarsense performed an analysis of the building to ensure it was structurally sound and could support the load. Finally, the company sought the skills of specialist health and safety contractor, Netsafe UK, which put in place the necessary safety netting around the building to protect the workers whilst they were on the Mootel roof installing the modules.


The modules were provided by Durham-based manufacturer, Romag, which supplied 1,112 panels on time and to budget. Mr. Eavis and his brother travelled to Romag’s manufacturing site to actually see the panels being made.

SolarMax inverters from Sputnik Engineering were also chosen for the site. Spanning 1,500m2, the roof required a specialist frame-fixing system. Once the modules were in place, we used over 6km of cables to connect the panels together.


The final stage of the installation involved testing the equipment. A representative from Sputnik Engineering visited the site to test the inverters. And Weston Power Distribution witnessed the G59 commissioning to sign off the installation. Worthy Farm officially switched on its solar PV installation on the 10 November 2010 during a grand opening ceremony.

“We have bought all the recycled fat from chip shops that we can find to run the generators during the festival and we wanted to create a permanent source of renewable energy. It makes sense to use some of the massive amount of free energy that comes from the sun,” said Eavis, owner of Worthy Farm and initiator of the Glastonbury Festival. “I have been planning to install a solar array for a number of years, and even prepared the barn roof well in advance. It makes sense to forge ahead with the project now the feed-in tariffs have kicked in.”

“The solar plant is our figurehead. This has brought us one big step closer to our goal of operating the farm as ecologically as possible.”