Barely visible from local viewpoints, our solar farm at Creacombe provides clean energy without spoiling the countryside.
The construction of the solar farm at Creacombe was funded by Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP (CORE). Commissioned in December 2019, Creacombe benefited from a Feed in Tariff (FiT). The site is owned by CORE and the aim is for ownership to be transferred to YCE in 2023. In the meantime, YCE receives an annual contribution to our Community Fund from the revenues.
The site reflects YCE’s commitment to developing projects on low-grade land, continued agricultural use, and biodiversity enhancement. The grade 3b land will be grazed by sheep under and around the solar panels in autumn and winter.
The solar farm also lies within the South Devon B-Line, one of three pathways in the South of England designed to help conserve our native insect pollinators.
A tremendous thank you to everyone who invested in YCE's share offer. The offer is now closed. YCE are delighted to have been able to secure the 3 local solar farms. What a journey this has been! We aim to complete on the purchases by the end of 2023.
£400,000 share raise milestone reached and a super testimonial from one of our investors. "YCE is an inspirational community endeavour. An initiative which will go down in the history of 'what did South Hams do to respond to the Climate Emergency?' as one of the most worthy of projects. My husband and I are investors. Proud to support a meaningful and well thought out project which aims to benefit local communities, can provide a return on investment as well as supporting ambitious renewable energy projects. I hope this is shared far and wide. Good luck to the A Team!!"
It has been an excellent Spring and Summer so far for sunshine, and the solar farms at Newton Downs and Creacombe & Marlands have been generating plenty of electricity to sell to the grid. Over the whole year they will produce the equivalent of about 4000 households, i.e. all of the houses in the 5 parishes.
A peak at the blooming biodiversity at Creacombe solar farm just 18 months after construction finished. Two breeding bird surveys have been conducted in 2021, 24 species were recorded on site with an overall abundance of 143 individual birds.
We were delighted to be part of a brilliant 4G live streamed science lesson from the Creacombe site, to local schools across Plymouth and the South Hams, organised by Exeter University’s Exeter Science Centre. It was an interactive lesson with many questions from the lively 250 children taking part.
We've now taken delivery of 4 sets of solar powered beehives which arrived safely and are settling in at Creacombe Solar Farm. Introducing honey bees can lead to improved outcomes for the local environment. The obvious and immediate benefit comes from the bees, who offer pollination services to local trees, plants and nearby agricultural crops.
We love data from our local solar farms at Creacombe and Newton Downs! 2020 gave us a production of just shy of 13 Million units of electricity. Power to the People!
Great to see the first biodiversity works completed at Creacombe Solar farm. All areas within the security fence were sown with a fine grass seed mix that will allow wildflowers to establish. Green hay was spread from a nearby farm in between the panels on site.
Yealm Community Energy welcomes Sir Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon to Creacombe Solar Farm. The local MP asked to return to the site when the wildflowers were established later in the year. Mr Streeter said “Creacombe Solar Farm is a bold and pioneering project that can lead the way for a real step-change in the UK.“
The UK’s first post-subsidy community solar farm, Creacombe Solar Farm near Yealmpton, South Devon, has now been completed and was connected to the grid at the end of January.
All 18,000 panels are now in place and are being connected to the invertors and the substations. Work is expected to complete by the end of December, when it will be connected to the grid.
The landowner, Gnaton Farms has made a planning application for a 7.3 MW solar farm, with negligible visual impact, on the borders of Holbeton, Yealmpton and Newton Ferrers/Noss Mayo. They wish to offer it to the local community to purchase, and would give Yealm Community Energy preference to do that. We are in discussions with them on agreeing the basis on which we could purchase it.
“We are very proud to have played a part in the creation of the UK’s first post-subsidy community owned solar farm at Creacombe."
“We have been delighted to support Creacombe throughout the construction process. Creacombe sets a leading example which can further stimulate the community energy market towards subsidy-free renewables, whilst delivering tangible social and environmental community benefits over the project lifetimes flowing directly to the local communities surrounding these projects.”
"I believe the board have done an excellent job and that YCE has become an impressive community force.”
“We would like to thank the people and organisations that have helped us get here: Gnaton Farms and the Lopes family for their support; CORE, Environmental Finance and Next Generation for helping us with the acquisition and transfer to community ownership; and Goldbeck Solar for building the project during a very muddy winter!”
"I do hope that you will feel inspired to join us in this exciting venture, be part of it and have a say in what we do locally."
“Creacombe is a bold and pioneering project that can lead the way for a real step-change in the UK.“
“For the Eden Project, the availability of relatively cheap and secure renewable energy is crucial to both our day-to-day operations and the future energy and price security young businesses need. I believe Creacombe Solar Farm is a great example of a win/win. It will provide local energy, funds for the community and is a symbol of robust independence. I totally support it as a positive commitment to the rural economy."