A £4.5 million investment will be used to create a solar farm on council owned land in Monmouthshire.

The Welsh Government approved the repayable investment for the Oak Solar Farm in Crick which could generate enough electricity to power around 1,400 homes upon completion.

It will also save more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by generating clean and renewable energy.

Monmouthshire County Council has secured the funding through the Invest to Save Green Growth Fund which aims to support public services to become more energy efficient by investing in green technologies.

The solar farm project will generate income through the sale of electricity, which will be used to repay the government’s investment while also maintaining the farm itself, supporting local community projects and leaving the council with a net income.

The Cabinet Secretary for environment and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said that Wales has “huge potential” to develop projects which generate electricity for the benefit of the country.

“Through our Green Growth Wales initiative, we are supporting the development of public sector energy efficiency and renewable energy projects,” said Ms Griffiths.

“I am delighted we have been able to support the delivery of the project and also provide finance to support Monmouthshire’s ambitions to run its own solar farm.”

The repayments to the Invest to Save Green Growth fund will be used to then invest in further energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, has hopes that the Oak Solar Farm will serve as a “model of sustainability” for other local authorities in Wales to follow.

Monmouthshire county councillor Phil Hobson, cabinet member for sustainability, said: “The solar farm means Monmouthshire takes another big step towards its goal of being a sustainable, green-power county.

“We’ve managed to do what was previously thought impossible - have a solar power station on grazing land and still keep the same agricultural land accessible for grazing animals.

“We’ve balanced the need for clean home-produced energy and food production at the same time.”