Photovoltaic solar panels on a factory roof 131212 CREDIT Craig Holmes Premium - Alamy Stock Photo

British Army To Power Training Base With Solar Farm For First Time

The site will span approximately four hectares and support the Government's commitment to meeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Photovoltaic solar panels on a factory roof 131212 CREDIT Craig Holmes Premium - Alamy Stock Photo

The British Army is set to power one of its training bases with a solar farm for the first time.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the photovoltaic facility at the Defence School of Transport (DST) in Leconfield, near Beverley, East Yorkshire, is expected to supply the base with a third of its electricity needs once complete.

It is the first of four pilot schemes which plan to increase renewable energy across the defence estate.

About 80 further solar farms are hoped to be introduced across the Army estate in the next seven years.

It comes alongside calls for the military to adapt to climate change and play a leading role in the UK's ambition to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It is hoped the four pilot schemes, delivered as part of Project Prometheus, will result in £1m in efficiency savings and reduce emissions by 2,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) per year.

The cost savings will be reinvested in Army infrastructure, the MOD added.

Major General David Southall, Director Basing and Infrastructure and the Army's Sustainability Champion, said the service is aiming to "reduce energy demand" while it also increases green energy initiatives.

He added the Army will learn from the four-site pilot scheme and "scale up fast across the wider Army estate to help decarbonise the power we use".

WATCH: How could the British military adapt to climate change in the coming years?

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: "Project Prometheus is an example of how defence is actioning its all-encompassing approach to reducing carbon emissions and increasing sustainability, announced last week."

Defence currently accounts for half of all the Government's carbon emissions.

Last week, the MOD published a report, titled 'Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach', which set out the threats posed by climate change and how defence must adapt.

It said that capability will not be placed second to the newfound climate commitments.

The three further pilots, at Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire, Rock Barracks in Suffolk and Baker Barracks in Sussex, are expected by the summer.

While the UK has set 2050 as its target to reach net-zero emissions, the Army has set out a number of programmes to try to reach the goal by 2045.

It includes a solar carport at the Army's headquarters in Hampshire with electric car charging ports and battery storage.

A second phase is planned for six further solar carports across all regions.

Meanwhile, Project Romulus will develop an information monitoring system that gathers data on the carbon footprint of a military base to inform decision making.

Cover image: File image of photovoltaic solar panels (Picture: Craig Holmes Premium/Alamy Stock Photo).