15 Biggest Solar Projects in the UK by 2021 0

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With solar panel price’s constantly declining, we are seeing more and more solar farms across the world and in the UK as a result of constant and radical developments made possible by the development of solar energy technology. A total of 11.6GW per year will be generated by the 469 solar farms scattered across the UK, to help the UK’s green energy transition.

There are many applications for PV systems at a large scale, including solar farms. For many decades after their initial construction (between 25 and 30 years), they provide green energy and locally sourced energy to a large number of citizens and businesses. For governments, businesses, and interested independent investors, solar farming is certainly becoming the preferred method from which to generate energy.

In the UK, there are now just under 500 operating solar farms, according to 2020 figures. During just five years, the UK has seen its solar capacity increase from 5,488.6 MW in 2014 to 13,258 MW in June 2019.

Here are the top 5 largest solar parks, or solar farms, currently operating in the UK, in no particular order. Let’s take a closer look!

Shotwick Solar Park

A collaboration between We-Link Energy and Compton group, Shotwick Solar Park was finished in March 2016.

There are currently no solar farms in the UK that can produce more than 72.2 MW of power per year and cover 250 acres.

Private infrastructure is supplied with power by this solar farm. UPM Shotton Paper Mill is the largest paper mill in the UK. The paper mill’s energy needs are met by Shotwick Solar farm, saving 22,5000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Companies such as UPM Shotton Paper Mill can offset one-third of their electricity use each year through energy efficiency. Located in the largest private solar park in the world, Shotwick Solar Park comprises hundreds of solar panels.

Lyneham Solar Farm

It is the first project jointly developed with the MOD and is located on the site of a former runway.

A 69.8MW solar farm located in Lyneham, New Hampshire, opened in March 2015. 

The solar farm can power ten thousand homes and a military training college effectively, thanks to a network of over 17 kilometers of interconnecting trenches that draw power from 160,000 solar panels.

The fact that RAF Lyneham does not house operational aircraft on a day-to-day basis or that it is not protected by the MOD makes any glint and glare issues associated with solar panels irrelevant in this instance, making it an ideal site for green energy projects.

Owl’s Hatch Solar Park

51.9MW of solar energy was generated by this farm in March 2015. There are eight fields in this solar farm, which occupies 212 acres south of Herne Bay.

In addition to offering solar power, this solar farm also grows agriculture, including sheep grazing, and is considered “dual-use,” since it combines both solar energy generation and agricultural purposes.

 Around 14,000 homes are believed to be supplied with electricity by Owl’s Hatch Solar Farm.

Wroughton Airfield Solar Park

Known as one of the largest ground-mounted solar farms in the UK, the project was jointly developed by Public Power Solutions (PPS) and the Science Museum Group who were looking for a solution that would generate an income to renovate the aircraft hangers on the former WWII airfield.

A 165-acre solar farm located in Wroughton has been financed at first by private investors and then by local authorities. 

In March 2016, this solar farm was completed and connected to the national grid. It has a capacity of 50MW, which means 14000 homes can now run on solar power.

West Raynham Solar Farm

Solar panels occupy nearly 225 acres at this nearly 200,000-panel facility, which was dedicated in March 2015. 

Located near Fakenham, this 49.8 MW solar farm can provide eco-friendly energy to up to 11,000 homes.

Bluefield Solar, one of the world’s largest solar energy investors, purchased the land for this solar farm for £56.5 million.

Scurf Dyke Solar, Yorkshire

In March 2020, JBM secured planning permission from the East Riding Council for a 50MW solar and battery storage project.  A portfolio of post-subsidy solar developments, including solar/storage, is intended by JBM to be built over the next few years.

This project, located at Scurf Dyke Farm, Hutton Cranswick, will cover more than 200 acres of land and generate enough low-carbon energy to power the equivalent of 19,567 homes.  

As a result, it will also make a valuable contribution towards meeting the government’s long-term net-zero targets.

Corner Copse Solar, Swindon

Swindon Borough Council granted planning permission to JBM for a 50MW solar and battery storage project in June 2020. JBM plans to build a large portfolio of post-subsidy solar/storage generation projects in the upcoming years.

Using low-carbon electricity from this project, 17,655 homes can get the same amount of energy as they require each year. 

In the long-term, it will contribute significantly to meeting the Government’s net-zero targets. Residents will also benefit from the resulting economic investment and eco-enhancements.

Stanton Solar Farm

Swindon Borough Council granted planning permission for the Stanton Solar Project in August 2014, shortly after JBM began development. 

Built by the Spanish construction company Bester Generación in March 2015, the project was commissioned. Over 1,100 households can be powered by the plant’s electricity.

Before submitting a planning application, JBM engaged closely with the local community and held a public consultation day at which members of the public were invited to share their opinions on the development plans.

Burton Farm Solar, Stratford

A 5MW solar farm on Greenbelt land near Stratford-upon-Avon has been approved by JBM for construction at Burton Farm. 

There are 12 hectares of a solar farm that generate enough renewable electricity for the equivalent of 1,000 UK homes.

JBM sought approval from the district council based upon several special circumstances in the planning application enclosed with its Greenbelt Land development proposal. The company partnered with leading planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore.

Lackford Estate Solar Park

Located close to a Suffolk SSSI and screened by woodland, this award-winning development had to take great care to protect wildlife. Stone curlews nest on the site in great numbers. 

Despite severe weather, the site was commissioned just one year after the proposal due to excellent project management.

A total of 20169 megawatt-hours (MWh) are produced yearly, and 20.9 megawatts (MW) are installed, and 650 six households are powered annually. Furthermore, it saves 9322 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Great Wilbraham Solar Park

The Great Wilbraham Solar Park is located adjacent to the A11, rather than an earlier site on nearby greenbelt land. 

Birds and bats will benefit from the site’s trees and hedgerows, while other species will benefit from the grassland habitat that is being created.

There are 36713 MWH of annual production, 38.1 MW of installed capacity, and 11843 houses powered each year.

Battens Farm Solar Park

By partnering with our developer partner, Inazin, we were able to commission this 67-acre site in record time. 

An oak tree, perimeter hedgerows, bundts for bats, native wildflowers, and reseeded grasslands, which were all introduced post-construction, provide biodiversity features. 

12618 MWH are produced annually, 13 MW are installed and 4070 households are powered each year.

Branston Solar Park

With only scattered residential and farm buildings for local dwellings, Branston is situated on traditionally agricultural, flat land perfectly suited to PV. 

A biodiverse grassland, extra plantings and fencing for protection of new trees and hedgerows, and landscaping for habitat improvement complement existing hedgerows and tree belts. 

Annual Production is 18196 MWH, and Installed Capacity is 18.9 MW, while the Annual Powered Households are 5870.

Protecting Homes From Rising Energy Costs In Newham

A 20kWp system comprised of 72 Sanyo/Panasonic 240W modules and 52 bespoke 45Wp brise soleil louvers was installed on a brand new showpiece sustainable housing development in the London borough of Newham.

Marks and Spencer – Community Energy Scheme

Joju installed solar PV arrays at eight Marks & Spencer stores in the summer of 2016: Banbury, Cheshire Oaks, Cheshunt, Hayle, Hempstead, Longbridge, Torbay, and Truro. The key factors were:

  • To minimize disruptions to the day-to-day operations of the stores during the construction process.
  • Against tight feed-in tariff timelines, any delay could have adversely affected the overall economics of the project.
  • Integrating component deliveries into the daily build program can improve the flow of the build and improve the speed of the build.
  • Preparation for the project includes structural engineering, system design, grid approval, and obtaining legal permissions, all of which take time.

Final Thoughts

Many different solar farms exist in the UK, each with its own investors and power capabilities, as well as its own backstories. Despite their differences, they do share a commonality in being able to produce clean, reliable, environmentally friendly, and accessible sources of energy.

 If you own land in the UK, it is time for you to get connected with one of the companies and get started with the solar energy projects. This is how you will be able to make a firm difference in the world to protect it against climate change.

The Editorial Team at SolarFeeds is made up of knowledgeable solar industry insiders and experts who have a passion to share valuable, helpful and educational information. Aiming at becoming the best place to learn solar, the publication partners with industry thought leaders, journalists and influencers. If you want to publish your articles on SolarFeeds Magazine, click here.
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