Green Party co-leader pays a visit to Stratford community solar farm

A community solar farm developed by Anesco in Stratford upon Avon, recently played host to the co-leader of the Green Party, when she visited the area to learn more about locally-run community eco projects.

Sian Berry met with representatives from Anesco and members of the local Green Party and Heart of England Community Energy, for a tour of the solar farm, before heading to see other community run projects and delivering a speech on ‘Staying In A Greener Europe’ at a Stratford4Europe public meeting.

The Heart of England Community Energy solar farm is the largest community-owned solar farm in the country. The 75-acre, 14.7MW solar farm, generates enough electricity to power 4,500 homes. It will deliver £2.7m in local community benefits over the project’s 20-year lifespan.

Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party, said: “The Heart of England Community Energy solar farm is an incredible community project, and a great example of the community-led renewable revolution we are fighting for in the Green Party.

“Solar power is one of the cheapest and cleanest ways to generate the energy we need, and a perfect example of how we can harness the opportunities of renewable energy to face the future. To tackle climate change we must invest in renewables and ditch fossil fuels – it’s great to see local communities leading the way on this where the Government has failed.”

John Stott, Chair of Heart of England Community Energy, said: “We were delighted to welcome Sian to see our solar farm and we concur with her comments. We also add that some of the profit from the farm is funding work to reduce fuel poverty for local residents and Anesco, who handle our operations and maintenance work, are also looking after the farm to ensure it continues to perform correctly”.

Anesco, based in Reading, has developed 102 solar farms to date, while its renewables operations and maintenance arm is currently monitoring over 21,500 assets. As the UK market leader for utility scale battery storage units, Anesco is on track to more than quadruple its operational battery portfolio by 2020, as demand for its services sees its order book swell to 380MW.