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UK rural enterprise invests in solar PV project

A 5 MW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to be constructed as part of The Regeneration Initiative at the Royal Bath & West of England Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

The 5 MW solar PV project at The Royal Bath and West Showground has been contracted to renewable energy project developers RES for £13 million and when completed will cover 11 hectares of brownfield land in the West of England.

The project is part of the £100m Regeneration Initiative of the site led by London & Wharfdale which in addition to the exsisting Showground will include a retail centre, two hotels and renewable energy centre of excellence and learning.

David Povall, CEO of RES Enterprises, notes: “We are delighted to be playing an important role in kick starting this regeneration initiative. PV technology can make an increasingly important contribution to meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets and large-scale projects like this, in particular, can contribute significantly to rural regeneration, in line with current Government objectives.

"We hope that the recent review announced by Government of the feed-in tariff for PV projects over 50 kW will conclude that appropriately-located and locally-supported exemplar projects of this kind deserve continued support in recognition of the economic and low carbon benefits they will bring.”

Dr Jane Guise, Chief Executive of Royal Bath & West of England Society, echoes Povall’s enthusiasm for solar PV projects to be incorporated in similar rural projects: “Driven by home produced energy we will be a centre of choice for new business, in a relatively remote rural location. It heralds the start of a long-held ambition to be able to make much more of a difference to rural businesses old and new - the forgotten sector which tends to underpin the economy when times are tough.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity