Dunsfold Park in Surrey, home to the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ test track, last month became the first business park in the UK to be fed entirely by green energy.
Electricity generated during working hours is used by businesses at Dunsfold Park and on weekends and in times of optimum conditions; surplus solar electricity is exported to the mains grid.
“Our focus on green technologies that help to reduce the aerodrome’s carbon footprint is coming to fruition. Not only will businesses in Dunsfold Park benefit from the solar energy but we have the opportunity to widen the supply in due course,” said Jim McAllister, Chief Executive of Dunsfold Park Ltd.
Dunsfold Park’s array was constructed by Lightsource Energy Ltd working in partnership with Octopus Investments. The two companies have delivered a total of 13 large scale solar farms in the UK, installing almost 130,000 solar panels with a total capacity exceeding 32 megawatts.
Among its other sustainability efforts, Dunsfold Park is investigating water harvesting and recycling through closed water systems and recycling and conversion of waste into reusable bio-gas and fertilisers.
Dunsfold Park Ltd was one of the first UK companies to take part in a trial of Smart electric vehicles and the cars now form part of its corporate fleet.
A proposal was also drafted for a new eco-village settlement at Dunsfold Park, which included 350-acre country parklands, new schools, shops and other community facilities.
The proposal was rejected due to it being “premature in relation to the Local Development Framework (LDF)”, but was highly commended by the Planning Inspector and the Secretary of State on all environmental aspects.