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Ferry Farm; community power

The starting point

The idea for a solar farm in West Sussex was developed by the renewable company BNRG and a local food and farming business, Langmead group. The concept was for a solar project which generated electricity, and which the local community could buy a share of and earn an estimated 6% p/a return.

It’s a step towards energy being generated and owned locally, with the value retained in the local economy. Ferry Farm Community Solar was set up (by Communities for Renewables CIC who are community energy advisors) to help achieve this.

The solution

Solarcentury was selected as the EPC contractor. The solar farm built was 5MWp, near Selsey. This is enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,300 local homes.

We took steps from the outset to ensure local wildlife was protected throughout the project - this included over 1km of reptile fence and an extensive landscaping and ecological mitigation plan. A landscaping plan is also being instigated to ensure that any potential visual impact is minimized. Ecology in the area will be enriched and rejuvenated further with wildflower seed mix and hedge / shrub planting. Solarcentury will also be installing over 350m of public bridleway which runs through the centre of the site.

Each year a portion of income generated by the solar farm will be used to support community organisations and projects in the local area.

The response

Ben Cooper, Director of Ferry Farm Community Solar said: “This is a significant step towards the Selsey and Sidlesham area taking control of its energy future and retaining within the local economy some of the £20 million per year we spend on energy. Ferry Farm Community Solar will help to support over 150 active community organisations in the area, providing solar energy and income for local projects for the next 25+ years.”

David Maguire, director of BNRG Renewables said: “This project was achieved through great collaboration between Community for Renewables, Triplepoint and Solarcentury and is a testament to the ability of community ownership to deliver great projects, clean energy and real community benefit in the form of up to £1m of community contributions over the life of the solar farm.”

Power and payback

System size: 5 MWp

Annual generation: 5639 MWh

CO2 savings per year: 2368 tonnes

Read the press release here

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