THE UK’s first solar powered business park has proved to be a shining example of green technology.

Bosses at Howbery Business Park near Wallingford are delighted with the performance of more than 3,000 solar panels installed last year after they generated 34 per cent of its power needs between April and September.

That was way above the original target of 25 per cent and was achieved despite the poor summer.

Chief executive John Ormston said: “Solar energy has proved to be a highly effective alternative energy source for our park.

“We plan to investigate further renewable energy options for the future, including additional investment in solar energy generation.”

The solar park has generated 730,000kWh in its first 12 months, preventing 400 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The installation has been developed at a cost of more than £2m by water and environmental consultancy HR Wallingford which employs 250 people on the site.

It is estimated that more than 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be cut in a year at the park which employs almost 1,000 staff in 20 different organisations.

Now park bosses say the facility is attracting new tenants including green energy firm Ceramic Fuel Cells. General manager Paddy Thompson said: “Howbery’s newly created solar park was the primary reason for us deciding to locate our business at the site.“