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Glastonbury Festival gets solar upgrade

Green business news - by GreenWise staff
18th July 2012
Glastonbury Festival has gone even greener with the installation of a second solar array at the farm in Somerset where the event is held.
Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis has installed 200 new solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of a shed at his Worthy Farm. The installation is much smaller than the 1,100 panels that were installed in autumn 2010 at the farm, but will still produce 45,000 kilowatt hours of free electricity every year for use on the farm and during the festivals. It will also save more than 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The new solar array has been installed on a shed housing young calves and their mothers and is about to start generating free electricity for milking the herd and keeping their milk cool. It will also help to reduce the energy costs and environmental footprint of Glastonbury Festival, the UK’s largest music festival, attracting 250,000 people. 

The original solar array, which has been nicknamed the Mootel, was at the time of its installation the largest privately-owned solar system in the UK. It covers 1,500 square metres and generates enough power to supply 40 homes. 

Local firm Solarsense, which carried out the original solar installation, was called back in to install the second array. 

Eavis said it is his intention to make his farm and Glastonbury Festival as ecological as possible. "Generating our electricity using solar PV panels is fantastic and couldn’t get any better. It produces no smell or dirt, there’s no wages to pay for producing it and we get all this wonderful free electricity," he said.

Environmental improvements
In 2010, Glastonbury Festival made a range of environmental improvements including a £500,000 investment in a second water reservoir and switching to more localised sewage disposal.

A report into UK festivals carried out by Julie’s Bicycle last year found that although festivals such as Glastonbury were taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint through renewable energy, not enough were. The report showed that UK festivals consume about 12 million litres of diesel per year, generating an estimated 48,000 megawatt hours of electricity and 31,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions – the equivalent of powering 10,000 homes for a year.

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Glastonbury Festival gets solar upgrade
Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis has installed a second solar PV array at his farm
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