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Solar panels power Oxfordshire business park

A business park in Oxfordshire has begun generating solar energy after its solar panels, the biggest array in the country, were connected into the National Grid.

Companies based at Howbery Business Park will receive 25% of their necessary supply from the 3,000 panels, which generate up to 682MWh a year and will save an annual 350t of CO2.

The project is benefiting from a tariff scheme offering premium payments to those generating their own renewable energy

A number of other projects due to go online will also benefit from the feed-in tariffs, but they along with Howbery could be among the last large solar panel farms in the UK for some time.

In February, the Government announced it was reviewing the scheme in connection to the generation of more than 50kW of power, and would make more than a 70% reduction in the rates paid out to large ground solar panel systems.

But the chief executive of Solarcentury, which supplied the solar photovoltaic modules to Howbery, is optimistic over the future of the UK solar industry.

Derry Newman said: “They will come back because tariffs and subsidies for solar are a necessary device to create the industry right now but the rate of change of price of solar is on a strong downward trend.”

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