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Glastonbury festival goes sunny side up

Worthy Farm to benefit from £500,000 ethical loan from Triodos Bank

02-07-2010 | Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis is to benefit from a £500,000 loan from Triodos Bank to install the UK’s largest privately owned solar array on the roof of a barn at his Worthy Farm. Finance from the ethical bank will fund the bulk of the project’s £550,000 cost, with Michael Eavis providing the remainder.

The finance will fund the installation of 1,112 solar panels covering 1,500m2 on the roof of the Worthy Farm Mootel, the barn to which the dairy farm’s cows are removed during the festival period.

Michael Eavis commented: "I have been planning to install a solar array for a number of years, and even prepared the barn roof well in advance. It makes sense to forge ahead with the project now the feed-in tariffs have kicked in.

"Because we share the same values, Triodos Bank was my first consideration for the loan and I am grateful it is able to help finance the scheme and invest in the potential of solar for future energy generation."

The photovoltaic (PV) panels will weigh around 22.5 tonnes and generate 160,000 kWh per year, which is equivalent to the annual energy use for 40 homes. A recent report from land consultants Carter Jonas* named solar as the safest potential investment in renewable technology.

David Hawes, Senior Relationship Manager in Triodos Bank’s environment team added: "The fact this project is so far advanced, despite the Feed in Tariff only recently coming into being, is a tribute to Michael’s foresight and his strong environmental convictions. We’re proud to support him in achieving his goal of improving the farm’s carbon footprint."

This is the first major solar installation supported by Triodos in the UK and one of 85 the bank finances internationally. Across the entire renewable energy sector Triodos Bank currently finances 275 different projects, including 175 wind farms, of which 30 are in the UK and Ireland, as well as several biomass and hydro projects. These projects have a combined generating capacity of one GW and currently produce around 2.25 billion kWh per year – equivalent to the energy consumption of around 630,000 households.

The Worthy Farm project is one of the first to be remunerated under the government’s new feed-in tariff scheme. The current FIT for solar PV installation of this size is 29.3p per kW, so Eavis expects the installation to pay back more than £45,000 per year. This is in addition to the savings derived through the farm’s own use – expected to be around 80 per cent - of the energy generated.

The Worthy Farm array will be installed by SolarSense UK which is also a customer of Triodos Bank. The PV tiles are manufactured by County Durham-based ROMAG.

To find out more about Triodos Bank and its range of banking services for ethical businesses and charities, and savings and investments for individuals, visit www.triodos.co.uk or call 0800 328 2181 free.

Notes for editors:

http://www.carterjonas.co.uk/~/media/Publications/energy-index.ashx

About Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank only finances Loan customers creating social, environmental or cultural added value - ranging from large ethical Loan customers to smaller, innovative organisations meeting local needs. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank’s lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment. A range of personal savings accounts is offered and full banking services are available for businesses and charities.

For more information please call Will Ferguson on 0117 980 9770 or e-mail william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk .

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