Tangmere solar farm, one of the first in the country to be owned and operated by a local authority, produces enough zero-carbon electricity every year to power 1,500 homes.
The 25-acre site on the edge of a disused airfield was developed for West Sussex County Council as part of the Your Energy Sussex solar programme.
With more than 18,000 solar panels and enough cabling to reach from Tangmere to London, the 5MW site took just three months to build and went live in October 2015. In its first year of operation it produced approximately 5,000 MWh of electricity, preventing an estimated 2,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
The development made economic sense for West Sussex County Council as site owners. Over the life of the project the feed-in-tariffs generated by selling energy back to the National Grid will pay for the development within ten years and earn £10.8 million over 20 years.
Some of the electricity generated at the solar farm will also be used to power council buildings and reduce the amount that the council pays for its own electricity.
Tangmere solar farm is part of a wider Your Energy Sussex programme to install solar PV systems at a range of different sites, including schools, business premises and on social housing. The partnership has plans to develop further solar farms in the county.