Colburn-based manufacturer installs solar farm

Michael Jonas, managing director of Oakdale (left) with Gavin Cordwell-Smith, CEO of Hellens Group.

Colburn-based manufacturing firm Oakdale has begun installing a two-acre solar farm as part of the company’s wider ambitions for developing zero carbon products.

Once completed, the 576 panels on the solar farm will generate approximately 300,000kWh of clean energy per year.

This is enough energy supply for the entire Catterick-based factory, which currently employs 26 workers.

Along with the solar farm, the company, which specialises in sustainable paving, has deployed other renewable energy tactics, including the recycling of water during manufacturing, as part of its plans to deliver carbon free products in the future.

Having submitted its application for planning permission in early December 2022, Oakdale, which is owned by Hellens Group, was given the green light to begin work on its solar farm following Richmondshire District Council’s decision to approve the application in January this year.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group said: “At Oakdale, we have been undertaking extensive research and development into how we can provide sustainable products, particularly for the residential sector.

“Now that work on our solar farm is well underway, we can set our sights on becoming a market leader in the manufacturing of net zero products.”


  1. 300kWh in a year ? Is that all ? The average house consumes between 8 and 10 kWh per day – which comes to over 3000 kWh in a year.

    • the article says ‘the solar farm will generate approximately 300,000kWh of clean energy per year’.

      That’s enough for 100 houses, based on average domestic usage.
      Or as the article also says, enough for the entire factory.

      A job well done!

  2. Both Paul and Rob are correct and helpful of them to spot the error by a person who wanted to spread false information about this great project, which could save energy for a local business which employ people from our area.

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