Visit to Worthy Farm on 2nd August 2011

9 members of our Group, together with 3 guests, went to Worthy Farm and met Phil Miller, the Infrastructure Manager, who had agreed to show us the photovoltaic installation on the cowshed roof. 115,729 kws have been generated since November 2010 by these panels and fed into the grid.

Mr Miller gave us a talk about the entire Glastonbury Festival Site.

He explained how whenever possible materials are recycled on the farm. For instance, 2 reservoirs have been created to hold freshwater to cover the needs of 180,000 people on the site for 5 days of the festival. Each reservoir has a capacity of 1 million gallons. Stone excavated from these sites has been dressed by onsite masons to create blue lias stone for, amongst other structures, the buildings housing the equipment for the transfer of power from the cells to the grid. The cost of this project for the reservoirs was £365K.

There are 8 miles of security fencing around the site which are erected each year, removed and stored. All streams and water courses are covered during the festival, to avoid contamination, requiring 78 kms of covering fences.

Independent consultants have calculated that the festival is worth £50 million to the local economy and £80 million to the County.

During the festival 400 people work in 2 shifts to sort all rubbish into categories for recycling. The contribution this makes puts Mendip D C in the top quartile of councils for recycling.

The site aims to be carbon neutral in 2 years if it gets permission to build an anaerobic digester to process cow waste and produce 500 kws per hour 365 days a year. The excess heat from the anaerobic digester could also potentially be used to heat a local chicken operation, which could save a further 200kws per hour.

As well as these major infrastructure projects they are also looking at every possibility to save energy. They currently have to spend £16,000 on diesel, required to light the 177 tall lighting pylons on site, and are looking at replacing all of these with much lower energy, new technology lights that only use a quarter of the amount of diesel – every little counts.