Greater Manchester’s largest solar farm is set to be switched on in December and expected to provide enough electricity to power 2000 homes.
The electricity produced will be linked to the national grid and used to offset Rochdale Council’s energy bill, saving the authority hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. The council successfully bid for £3.3m funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to make the project viable.
The 10-hectare site, on former farmland next to the A58, is located at Chamber House Farm in Heywood. It has seen 10,000 ground mounted solar panels fitted in the past few months, with the areas between the rows of panels topped off by wildflowers, shrubs, trees and hedges. The patches of new biodiversity are said to be attracting new types of wildlife to the area, according to main contractor Vital Energi, who have been working on the project since the start of this year.
Chamber House is the second solar farm in the borough, following the installation of one at Rochdale Leisure Centre, which helps to power the facility. On Thursday, the site was visited by Jeff Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for clean power and consumers.
Mr Smith, said: “Ambitious Labour local councils like Rochdale are already leading the way with home-grown projects like the Chamber House Solar Farm, which will help bring prosperity to Heywood and Middleton.”