New solar farms to save energy at military camps

Five solar farms have been installed at military training camps across the UK as part of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO) Energy Spend to Save Programme.

The 50 kilo-watt peak (kWp) solar photovoltaic arrays are the first of their kind to be introduced on the training estate and will generate electricity, cut fuel costs and reduce DIO’s carbon footprint by an estimated 20 tonnes of CO2per year.

The solar panels are part of a linked collection created to convert sunlight into electricity. An inverter is used to convert power produced by the panels into a current, which then feeds into the camp’s electricity distribution system. Five systems have been installed across the military estate: two at Sennybridge in Powys and one each at Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire, Lydd in Kent and Chickerell in Weymouth. Each installation is around 800m² in size and is capable of generating some 50kWp.

The electricity generated will be used to support the future energy requirements of the camps and DIO will soon be able to benefit from the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) scheme, the Government’s main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies.

Sennybridge Camp, which is being used as the prime site for piloting energy saving initiatives, has implemented further energy savings strategies to reduce the amount of energy wasted and reduce the consumption of energy. These include switching internal and external lighting to more energy efficient lighting, using hotel-style key cards for lighting systems, installing dehumidifiers in drying rooms, insulating huts and converting heating systems from fossil fuel heating to air source heat pumps.

Col (Retd) Richard Howard-Gash, Regional Commander DIO Ops Training Wales & West, said:

“DIO’s priority is to support the front line and enable Defence personnel to live, work, train and deploy at home and overseas. The energy saving measures that we have introduced at Sennybridge Camp have improved both working and living conditions for our staff and troops and will go some way towards saving energy and cutting costs.

”We are proud to be able to support the DIO Energy Spend to Save Programme and hope that our energy saving initiatives are a success and can be implemented across the training estate.”

The solar panel installation was project-managed by Landmarc Support Services and supported by the DIO Energy team, and involved managing planning applications across four Local Planning Authorities, two of which were National Parks.

In addition to the DIO’s Energy Spend to Save Programme, the project also directly supports the DIO Ops Training Energy Conservation Strategy to reduce the amount of wasted energy; reduce the consumption of energy and switch to renewable energy solutions.


Notes to Editors

  1. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is part of the MOD. We are responsible for managing and maintaining land and properties, as well as providing related support services, to meet the current and future needs of the MOD and personnel at home and abroad, and to support current operations.
  2. Our work includes providing, supporting and improving: operational units; single living and service family accommodation; training areas and historic military sites. DIO actively manages these and supporting services, such as soft facilities management and guarding, to ensure the needs of Defence are met, value for money is achieved, heritage protected and environmental goals achieved.
  3. The DIO Energy Spend to Save Programme is a three year programme over which time DIO Ops Training will have halved its annual heating and electricity bill creating an annual saving of approximately 3.5m from a baseline annual energy bill of 6.6m in 2010/11.
  4. With picture, caption: The new solar farm at Senneybridge Training Camp in Powys. Crown  Copyright MOD/2013.

Press enquiries to Emma Sloper, Communications Officer on 0121 311 2418 or email

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