The completion of the largest and most advanced solar farm in the UK, generating enough energy to supply a town, has been announced.
Sustainable energy firm GRIDSERVE will hand over the completed 34.7MWp solar farm, which is based in York in the North of the UK, to Warrington Borough Council; with a second 25.7MWp plant currently in production in nearby Hull. Both solar farms will be maintained and operated by GRIDSERVE on the council’s behalf.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of GRIDSERVE, said: “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent runaway climate change and protect species, so let’s be the change and make it happen. Projects like this, which also require no government subsidy whatsoever, demonstrate that the UK can meet its net zero obligations well before 2050 and enable us to move the needle in delivering radical carbon reductions within the next 10 years. We’ve completely rethought the solar model to maximise value, and we’ve now demonstrated that we have what it takes to make projects like this a reality. To replicate this success, we are now looking to partner with additional landowners, developers; and to acquire project rights.”
Collectively, the two solar farm projects are projected to generate annual profits in the millions of pounds; with an expected operational surplus of more than £100m (€117.53m) by 2030. The York solar farm, which was completed by GRIDSERVE in just five months, is the first large scale project in the UK to use bifacial solar panels and trackers which follow the sun throughout the day, leading to an increase in energy generation of around 20%.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “The completion of this groundbreaking project is a huge milestone for the council. This investment strengthens our commitment to tackle the climate emergency, and will also help us secure our energy supply, give us control over our energy prices, and contribute to reducing fuel poverty. At the same time, the solar farm is an important part of our ‘invest to save’ programme, and we expect it to generate an operating surplus of millions of pounds that can be ploughed back into delivering vital council services. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with GRIDSERVE on this cutting edge scheme and we are proud to have delivered the UK’s most advanced solar farm. It’s great news for Warrington and also sets the bar for other local authorities in what can be achieved by working with the right partners, with a shared ambition.”