This project combines creating sustainable energy with nurturing an important meadow.
The construction of the solar farm was funded by Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP (CORE). Marlands receives no subsidy, so revenue depends on sales of electricity via Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Ownership transferred from CORE to YCE in late 2023.
The land is managed to encourage wildlife and biodiversity, with the creation of species-rich wildflower meadows around the panels. The landowner, Gnaton Farms, is a family enterprise with over 40 years of experience. They’re committed to ecology and biodiversity, including sowing many hectares of wildflower meadows and restoring ancient orchards.
The farm is part of Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme and has already given over 55 acres to meadows for bird food and nectar. The biodiversity improvements incorporated into the solar farm will help to build on this good work.
YCE's Community Benefit Fund is open for applications. Since 2018 YCE has donated £100,000 to local environmental projects across the 5 parishes. The funding round will close on 21st April 2024.
YCE are delighted to announce completion of 3 local solar farms into community ownership. We would like to thank all of you that invested in our share offer to realise this long held ambition.
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.
"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."
"I believe the board have done an excellent job and that YCE has become an impressive community force.”