The Start-Up

The farmers switching to renewable energy in the face of Brexit uncertainty

With nearly 40 per cent of UK farmers using renewables, green projects are rapidly becoming a vital source of income, Hazel Sheffield writes

Wednesday 12 February 2020 19:05
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Newton Downs solar farm in Devon helps to create enough power for homes in five local parishes
Newton Downs solar farm in Devon helps to create enough power for homes in five local parishes

This year, the residents of a valley in south Devon will have the opportunity to buy a stake in two solar farms generating enough power for all the homes in the five surrounding parishes.

Newton Downs and nearby Creacombe will be owned by the community and managed by Yealm Community Energy, a social enterprise which invests the profits in helping local people in fuel poverty and environmental projects, like wildflower meadows and bee conservation.

For Jake Harris, the 34-year-old farmer on whose land the Newton Downs solar farm was built in 2017, the project could not have come at a better time.

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