A NEW solar farm near Wool has started generating electricity for the first time.

Good Energy’s solar farm at Tout Hill is the company’s first solar farm. It will generate enough electricity to power around 1,300 homes.

Planning permission for the site was received at the end of 2013 with construction on the 34-acre site beginning in April this year.

Hugo House, from Good Energy, said: “It’s great to see the site up and running, and making a contribution to the county’s renewable energy targets.

“In the autumn, we will sow wildflower seeds across all three fields, and later, we plan to allow sheep to graze on the site demonstrating that agriculture, renewable energy production and biodiversity can work side by side.”

As part of Good Energy’s responsible development charter, the parishes of East Stoke and Wool will benefit from an annual £5,000 community fund to be administered by a charitable trust set up by local people.

The local community will be able to apply for funding and the trustees will award the money to those projects they judge as best serve the needs of the community.

An additional sum of £10,000 is being given to East Stoke to support its plans to build a village hall.

At the same time, three schools – Bovington First, Wool Church of England First and St Mary & St Joseph First – and the D’urbeville Hall have all benefited from the installation of small-scale solar panels.

Mr House added: “We appreciate that local people are ‘hosting’ our developments and this is our way of saying thank you to them.”

Juliet Davenport, founder and CEO of Good Energy, said: “The solar farm at Wool will make an important contribution to Dorset’s renewable energy targets and demonstrates the value of solar power as part of our renewable energy generation portfolio.”