Solar homes, buildings and farms to open doors for Solar Independence Day

On Friday 3 July and Saturday 4 July locations across the UK will be opening their doors to the public to celebrate solar energy and showcase its potential.

Ahead of the day, Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association said:

“Solar Independence Day will show how versatile this technology is. We’ve got everything from a housing estate in Northumberland to a stately home in Aberdeenshire, a community solar farm in Hampshire to a waste facility in Berkshire, all generating clean, green home-grown electricity.”

It is estimated that the UK now has almost 8GW of solar PV, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses and in solar farms. This is enough to power the equivalent of 2.4million homes securing 30,000 jobs in the sector and its supply chain.

The biggest event will be taking place in Ashington, Northumberland, where almost 400 homes have had solar installed on their roofs. Schools are also involved, with a group of Brighton schoolchildren set to visit a solar farm in West Sussex. And on a solar farm in Worcestershire guests will be treated to ‘sunny honey’ on toast, made by the bees on that very solar farm.

The theme of the event follows the Solar Trade Association’s publication just a few weeks ago of its ‘Solar Independence Plan for Britain’. CEO Paul Barwell continued:

“Our Solar Independence Plan sets out how the new government can double the amount of solar and get solar as cheap as fossil fuel electricity by 2020, for a very modest amount of extra funds.”

In addition to the open days across the country, MPs will be visiting solar homes in their constituencies on the day and a ‘Build your own solar charger’ workshop is being held in Bristol for the Bristol Drugs Project, a charity working with people recovering from alcohol and drugs use.

Members of the press are welcome to attend the open days and publicise Solar Independence Day ahead of the event. Here is a list of open days by region:

South East

Solar rooftop at the Lakeside Energy from Waste facility, Friday 3 July, 12noon-1.30pm organised by Belectric Solar. Address: Lakeside Energy from Waste, Lakeside Road, Colnbrook SL3 0FE.

Kencot Hill Solar Farm, Friday 3 July, 10am-2pm, organised by Foresight Group Address: Kencot, Oxfordshire.

Hunters Race Solar Farm. Friday 3 July, 10am-2pm, organised by Foresight Group. Address: Hunters Race, Chichester, West Sussex.

West Solent Cooperative Solar Farm, Saturday 4 July, 10am-1pm, organised by Solarcentury. Address: Iley Lane, Lower Pennington, Lymington, Hampshire.

South West

Solarsense Technology Park, Friday 3 July 11am-4pm. Address: Helios House, Brockley Lane, Backwell, Bristol BS48 4AH.

Manor Solar Farm, Saturday 4 July, 10am-3pm, organised by Lightsource. Address: Manor Farm, Silton, Dorset, SP8 5PR.

Willersey Solar Farm, Friday 3 July, 11am-3pm, organised by Belectric. Address: The Byre Badsey Lane Willersey Evesham Worcestershire WR11 7HF.

Race Solar Farm, Saturday 4 July, 11am-3pm, organised by Primrose Solar. Address: Race Farm, Huntick Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6EH.

Whitley Solar Farm, Friday 3 July, 10am-3pm organised by British Solar Renewables. Address: Ashcroft, Bridgwater, TA7 9AQ.

Thamesdown Bus Depot, 10am-2pm, organised by Public Power Solutions. Address: Thamesdown Bus Depot, Barnfield Road, Swindon, SN2 2DJ.

East of England

Commercial rooftop on Precision House, Friday 3 July, 10am-1pm, organised by Precision Marketing Group and Sustain Services. Address: Precision House, Lamdin Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 6NU.

North East

Solar funday on the Hirst Estate, Saturday 4 July, 11am-2pm, organised by Enphase, Saving Energy Ltd and Arch Group. Address: Ashington Football Club, Woodhorn Lane, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9FW.


Solar rooftop on Edinburgh College, Friday 3 July, 9.30am-3.30pm, organised by iPower Energy. Address: Granton Campus, 350 West Granton Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QE.

Farm building solar rooftop event at Cronan Farm, Friday 3 July, 10am-12noon, organised by Forster Energy. Address: Cronan Farm, Coupar Angus, Blairgowrie, Perthshire PH13 9EX.

Solar rooftop Pitmedden Garden – National Trust for Scotland, Saturday 4 July, 11am-2pm organised by Forster Energy. Address: Pitmedden Garden, National Trust for Scotland, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7PD

All sites listed above can also be found here and a map will be available soon. In addition to the open days the following are also taking place:

Demand Energy Equality are holding a Solar Independence Day ‘Build your own solar charger’ workshop in Bristol, as part of their partnership with the Bristol Drugs Project.

A few days after Solar Independence Day, on Tuesday 7 July, the UK’s first ever solar home, the Oxford Ecohouse, will be marking its 20th anniversary in a ‘1 to 1million British solar citizens’ event. This is an invitation-only event, please get in touch if you would be interested in attending.

MPs around the country will be visiting solar homes in their constituencies.

A copy of the STA’s Solar Independence Plan can be downloaded here, and the press statement which launched the document can be viewed here.

For more information please contact:

Name: Sonia Dunlop
Title: Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Tel: 0203 637 2946 or 07970 795 278
Mainline: 0203 637 2945