Solar farm to power jet facility

A solar farm the size of eight football pitches is helping to power the advanced manufacturing of world-class fighter jets at BAE Systems.

Solar SamlesburyNearly 9,000 solar panels are now live providing power to its facility in Samlesbury, cutting £370,000 from the site’s electricity bill every year.

It is expected the panels will provide nearly a fifth of the site’s peak electrical consumption required to manufacture component parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II aircraft as well as the wings for the Hawk jet training aircraft.

Dave Holmes, manufacturing operations director at BAE Systems’ Military Air and Information business, said: “We anticipate the panels will stop 1,500 tonnes of carbon being added to the atmosphere every year.

“We are utilising part of the site’s former runway which is welcome news for the environment and at the same time helping to reduce our significant energy costs.

“We design our buildings, infrastructure and equipment with energy efficiency and renewable technology at the heart of it and a large amount of investment has gone into developing Samlesbury with the environment in mind.”

The switch on is the culmination of months of work to get the panels installed and tested and are located on a 61,000 square metre site.

They will generate 10,000 kilowatt hours every day and when running at full capacity are able to generate two megawatts of power at any time. The savings generated by the solar panels will enable BAE Systems to drive the affordability of its products and services to its customers across the globe.