In support of the DIO Energy Spend to Save Programme, Landmarc has worked closely with DIO Ops Training to install five 50kWp photovoltaic arrays on four camps across its training estate. These are the first of their kind to be installed on the defence estate, which will generate electricity, cut bills and reduce DIO Ops Training’s carbon footprint by an estimated seven tonnes of CO2 per year.

A photovoltaic array (often called a solar farm) is a linked collection of solar panels created to convert sunlight into electricity. An inverter is used to convert the DC power produced by the panels into an alternating current (AC), which then feeds into the camps’ electricity distribution system. Five systems have been installed across the estate: two at Sennybridge and one each at Castlemartin, Lydd and Chickerell. Each installation is around 800m2 in size and capable of generating some 50kWp in ‘ideal conditions’.

The electricity generated will be used to support the future energy requirements of the camps. In addition, DIO Ops Training will benefit from the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) scheme. This is the UK government’s main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity generating technologies. It means that approximately 13p per kWh could be paid from their energy supplier for all of the electricity that is generated, even if it is used by the camps. And of course, they will save money on their electricity bill, because they will be using their own electricity. The units have a minimum life expectancy of around 20 – 25 years, so they will pay for themselves many times over during their life cycle, with minimal maintenance required. This is in addition to the carbon savings benefit.

The Landmarc team project managed the installations, working with Ice Energy, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and DIO Ops Training. This included 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.