Low Carbon switches on five new solar parks around UK

Renewable energy investment company Low Carbon has commissioned five new solar parks with a combined capacity of 84.3MW, enough to power more than 25,300 UK homes.

The installations are to produce enough green energy to avoid around 36,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and include Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, which is the firm’s largest solar park to date with 38.1MW of capacity.

Steve Hunter, head of investments at Low Carbon, said: “This strong portfolio of newly commissioned sites allows us not only to deliver long-term growth, but is an example of our continued fight against the causes of climate change.”

The other sites are the 18.9MW solar farm at Branston in Lincolnshire, the 10.1MW Bottom Plain project in Dorset, a 9.0MW site at Emberton in Buckinghamshire and an 8.2MV development at Berwick in East Sussex.

The company commissioned the projects just in time to qualify for the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) subsidy scheme after the Government announced last year that it will entirely remove support for large solar farms in April 2015.

The ROC came into effect in 2002 in England, Wales and Scotland, followed by Northern Ireland in 2005, and it placed an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing amount of the electricity they supply from renewable sources. Smaller solar farms are mainly supported through the Feed-In Tariff scheme.

According to figures announced by the firm, in the past year Low Carbon has added twelve solar parks to its portfolio amounting to 157.7MW and saving in excess of 67,600 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 21,400 fewer cars on the road. The solar parks generate enough energy to power up to 47,478 homes.

“Solar is a credible, proven technology with a stable generation profile and we remain committed to the UK renewable energy industry,” Hunter said.

Provisional figures released by the Government this month showed that renewables such as solar, wind, bioenergy and hydro generated almost a fifth of the UK’s electricity in 2014 setting a new record for clean technologies, as E&T reported.

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