Oxfordshire's Kencot Hill will be turned into solar farm

A Conergy wind farm in Lovedean, Hampshire Solar energy company Conergy said the farm is expected to reduce carbon dioxide by 16,000 tonnes a year

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A disused World War Two airfield will be turned into one of Britain's largest solar farms.

The 129 acre site at Kencot Hill, near Carterton, Oxfordshire was formerly the home of RAF Broadwell.

The zero-carbon power station will be fitted with 144,000 panels, which will produce enough electricity to power 10,000 local homes and businesses.

It will be funded by RWE Supply & Trading and is expected to save 16,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Planning permission has been granted by West Oxfordshire District Council and the site will be built by solar energy company Conergy, which has constructed a number of solar farms, including one at Lovedean in Hampshire.

Work will begin at the end of the month and will include reinforcing hedgerows in order to hide it from public view.

Help the UK

Robert Goss, managing director of Conergy UK, said: "Large-scale plants in the right places, like Kencot Hill, already provide power to tens of thousands of homes, and will avoid millions of tonnes of carbon emissions."

It is the first time that utility company RWE has invested in British solar. It then plans to sell the solar farm after it it completed, which is expected to be towards the end of the summer, to Foresight Solar Fund Limited.

Chief executive of RWE Stefan Judisch said the firm hopes to invest in other wind farms to help the UK to meet C02 reduction targets.

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