Thousands of solar panels in the Dorset countryside will soon power Britain’s historic financial centre under a new renewable energy deal struck by the City of London Corporation.

The City’s governing body expects to save £3m by buying over half of the electricity powering the Square Mile from a subsidy-free solar farm in the south-west of England made up of 95,000 new solar panels over the next 15 years.

The 49 megawatt project, to be built by French renewables company Voltalia, is expected to generate enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 15,000 homes, or half the energy required to run the Square Mile’s historic Guildhall buildings, the Barbican arts centre and Smithfield market.

The City of London hopes that the “pioneering” green energy supply deal will form a template for other local councils across the country to cut their carbon emissions and save money on their energy bills by investing in renewable energy without the risk.

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