Thursday, November 11, 2010

Glastonbury goes solar

Glastonbury installs UK's biggest private solar-power plant

Michael Eavis has installed 1,116 solar power panels on his cow shed at Worthy Farm, the site of the Glastonbury festival

10 November 2010 - If U2 or the Rolling Stones had been performing on his cow shed roof, the Glastonbury Festival supremo Michael Eavis could hardly have been more excited. "It's fantastic. This is the best fun I've had here for ages," he said. "We had to make a big statement – and that is what we've done."

Eavis' statement is an "array" of 1,116 solar panels installed on the roof of that cowshed - nicknamed the Mootel. To the sound of a musician called Harriet playing Here Comes The Sun on the vibraphone (deemed suitable because its aluminium bars resemble solar panels), Eavis today unveiled what is believed to be the biggest private solar electric generating system in the UK.

The photovoltaic (PV) modules will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 40 homes annually. Power generated will be used, in the first instance, for Eavis' Worthy Farm and any left over will be fed into the National Grid.

Wearing shorts on a chilly but perfectly blue Somerset day, Eavis said: "We had to make a major statement because we use so much power. This has brought us one big step closer to our goal of operating the farm as ecologically as possible." The 1,500-acre site effectively turns into a small city at festival time with more than 200 diesel-powered generators hauled into place to make sure bands can play, food-and-drink suppliers can operate and the place is lit up at night. {read rest}

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