Elstow Solar Farm exceeds expectations for energy and income generation

February 6, 2023 8:00 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Opening of Elstow Solar Farm (Bedford Borough Council)It is six months on from when Elstow Solar Farm first went operational, and it is already far exceeding expectations in terms of energy and income generation. The state-of-the-art solar farm has generated 1,926Mwh of energy, more than originally predicted. This has led to over £127,000 more income for the council than was originally estimated.

The 8,000 panelled solar farm sits on an 81-acre former landfill site and was funded through £4 million from Bedford Borough Council's Capital Investment programme plus almost £2 million the Council secured from SEMLEP. The site has been transformed from a disused rubbish tip, inherited from the Conservative County Council, expelling greenhouse gases to an ultra-modern renewable energy park. The full restoration of the site is ongoing, but it is estimated that use of quality certified soils has saved Bedford Borough taxpayers up to £8 million from the original estimated cost.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said "I'm very pleased with the amount of energy and income this site has already generated after six months. A lot of work has gone into this project, from developing the plans, to securing funding and then the construction of the solar farm itself, so it's fantastic that that hard work is paying off. It is vital that we keep looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon so we can meet local, national and global targets. The Bedford Green Technology & Innovation Park is a key component of our climate change strategy and I look forward to seeing more fantastic results."