It may have been brisk November morning today (Wednesday) but the sun was out as Michael Eavis unveiled the UK's second largest solar panel installation at Worthy Farm, home of Glastonbury Festival.
It was a long-standing plan finally coming to fruition for the event organisers, which they say was doable thanks to the government introducing feed-in tariffs in April 2010.
“We’ve been aiming for this for some time,” Michael Eavis told Virtual Festivals in front of his cow shed. “We actually built the building a few years ago with the right slope on the roof to take the panels, so it’s a long-term project.”
The panels will generate around £60,000 of electricity a year, which is enough to power 40 houses, and it will help push the festival towards a renewable energy future.
“I think it will save around seven or eight generators,” Eavis beams, “quite a saving really.
“The principal is that we can do it without generators long-term. The energy is there in the sun, so this is just the beginning of something.”
Glastonbury Festival is so large, the ideal of running it 100% from renewable sources is a little way off, but bosses do think it’s still a possibility. “We would love to do that,” Eavis said, "But when? We can’t make any promises on that one.”
They are taking steps in the right direction though with plans are in place for doubling the number of solar panels at the farm it in the next few years, which will raise enough electricity for 100 homes.
It may be the first of its kind in the festival world, but it’s something that Michael Eavis would like to see elsewhere. “Hopefully we’ll be setting an example to people because it is quite easy to do,” he said, “there are no moving costs, there’s no labour costs and no tear and wear. It doesn’t smell, it’s not noisy. It’s so graceful.”