Barkham Solar Farm to generate an income of £2.7 million a year, more than five times the original forecast.

18 Mar 2024
A solar farm in the sunshine

Barkham Solar Farm, the first of its kind in Wokingham Borough, is now expected to generate an income of £2.7 million a year, more than five times the original forecast.

When the financial business case for the Barkham Solar Farm was approved in 2021, the forecasted net income was anticipated to be £460k per year. A business case update was presented to the Wokingham Borough Council Executive Committee at its meeting on Thursday 14 March 2024 with these new forecasted figures.

The update also confirmed that planning permission has been secured and a contract with Scottish and Southern Electric Networks (SSEN) has been agreed for connection to the grid in summer 2026, much earlier than previously thought. Construction is anticipated to start mid-2025, with a view to being operational in 2026.

The solar farm will also contribute to the council’s climate emergency action plan (CEAP) as it is expected to save more than 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year - the average energy consumption of over 7,000 local homes per year.

Lib Dem Leader of the Council, Stephen Conway, said: “This solar farm is a big part of our plan to tackle the climate emergency and it will provide a secure and sustainable source of energy for local people.

“The financial pressures we are experiencing as a result of decades of underfunding from central government, rising demand for services and the economic climate, mean that it is vital we can secure long term income streams such as this one.

“The additional nearly £3m per year will be available to spend on services for residents, ensuring we can keep on making Wokingham borough a great place to live.”