New solar farm which can power 1,000 homes in Bedford goes live

It’s made up of over 8,000 solar panels

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 11:12 am

The council’s new solar farm has been fully energised and is now exporting low-carbon electricity to the grid.

The project is made up of over 8,000 solar panels and is capable of generating up to 4.2MW of electricity and is enough to power approximately 1,000 homes.

Scott Lutton, Vital Energi’s operations director, said: “Former open caste landfill sites can be problematic, but Bedford Borough Council has created an innovative solution which will transform the areas into a 21st-century solar farm.

Elstow Solar Farm

"This approach will now generate huge carbon savings which will make a strong contribution to Bedford borough on its net zero journey.

"The topography of the land is quite uneven, which made this a challenging project to install, but we’re delighted with the technical solution and it’s a great, new addition to Bedford’s low-carbon energy infrastructure.”

Bedford Borough Council has set ambitious targets of becoming net-zero by 2030.

Bedford mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The solar farm is delivering low carbon, clean energy and will encourage others to reduce carbon emissions, adopt innovative technologies and improve air quality.

“The project has cost £4.15million – with Bedford Borough Council investing over £2.2million and the project being awarded more than £1.8million from the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) toward the project. I would like to thank them for their contribution.”

Hilary Chipping, SEMLEP CEO said: “In addition to generating clean, green energy it has delivered new jobs and, in collaboration with the universities and college, will support the development of skills in green technologies.”