Image credit: Glastonbury Festivals
From wind- and solar-powered phone charging stations, to providing a platform for Greenpeace and Joss Stone to call out climate criminals, Glastonbury Festival in the UK has always had a dark green tint to it. Now festival founder Michael Eavis has taken his ecological commitments a step further—launching the UK's largest private solar power plant on the roof of his cowshed. Of course, given the fact that Glastonbury Festival, on its busiest nights, requires as much as 15 megawatts of power, Michael Eavis would be hard pushed to get anywhere close to energy independence for Europe's largest music festival. Nevertheless, the launch of the solar array at Worthy Farm is an important step forward—with 1,100 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels generating as much as 80% of the farm's day-to-day needs. (Worthy Farm is a working dairy farm, as well as the venue for the festival.)
Talking to The Guardian about the new Glastonbury solar array, Eavis explained that the recent introduction of feed-in tariffs played a major role in making the project viable:
"He has been impressed by how easy it has been. The bank lent him most of the money and the government's feed-in tariff - a subsidy for small-scale renewable energy generation - has meant it makes economic sense to launch the project. He should earn £60,000 a year from the project.
Eavis's cow shed, which enjoys a fine view of the pyramid stage - skeletal at this time of year - and Glastonbury Tor in the far distance, now generates up to 200 kilowatts of power. It should also save around 100 tonnes of carbon a year. He expects to make the money he has invested back in nine years."
Massive forces of darkness may be lining up against solar in the UK, but at least the ever cheerful Michael Eavis is willing to keep fighting for the light.
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