Hive Energy, one of the UK’s leading developers of solar parks, today (Thur 29th Nov) announced the completion of the pre-construction development of nine new solar parks across the UK with a total output of 60 Mega Watts (MW).
Once operational the parks will provide sufficient power for 18,180 homes annually1 (around the same size as Dorchester) and prevent 25,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year2 (the same amount of CO2 absorbed annually by 9,923 acres of woods3, or nine times the size of Sherwood Forest).
The solar parks, which use photovoltaic (PV) technology and vary in output from 3MW to 15MW, will be built in Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, and Devon4. Much of the land could remain in agricultural production through sheep grazing and hay cropping.
These solar parks represent a £72M investment, 73%5 of which is overseas investment, in the UK’s future energy security. All nine solar parks are expected to be constructed and energizing the National Grid with clean, green, renewable solar energy before April 2013.
“The Government has set a challenging opportunity for the delivery of 22 Giga Watts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation by 2020 and I am pleased to announce Hive Energy’s contribution to this target,” said Giles Redpath, CEO of Hive Energy. “As we are at around only 1.3GW6 of solar PV now, I urge the Government to be cautious about reducing the Renewable Obligation Certificates incentive too quickly or deeply so that we can continue to drive towards their 22GW target in a sustainable, planned and deliverable way.”
Hive Energy also announced that it has a further six 10-25MW solar parks in planning in Suffolk, Essex, Wiltshire and Devon. These solar parks will add a further 108MW of output, sufficient to power an additional 32,724 homes and prevent an additional 46,440 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Planning decisions on these solar parks are expected by early February 2013.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive set the Government a target to achieve 15% of all energy generation from renewable resources by 2020.
- Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) are issued by DECC at a rate of 2 ROCs/1MW until April 2013.The Government is currently consulting on the rate post April 2013, which is widely anticipated to be 1.5ROCs/MW.
- A solar park absorbs solar irradiation and converts it into electricity, which is fed directly into the National Grid.
- Hive Energy is based at East Wellow in Hampshire.
1. 1MW powers 303 average homes (source: Ofgem – Factsheet 96 dated 18 Jan 11; the typical annual electricity consumption per household is 3,300 kWh).
2. 1MW prevents 430 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually (source: RenewableUK - CO2 emitted by UK power generators is 430g/kWh).
3. Forestry Commission England Amazing Tree Facts (2003) – one acre of trees removes 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year.
4. The new solar parks are:
Tavells Lane Solar Park, Marchwood, Hampshire, 30 acres, 5MW Raglington Solar Park, Shedfield, Hampshire, 30 acres, 5MW
Shacks Barn Solar Park, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, 37 acres, 5MW Higher Hatherleigh Solar Park,Wincanton, Somerset, 40 acres, 3.5MW Steventon Solar Park, Steventon, Oxfordshire, 57 acres, 10MW Knockworthy Solar Park,Torrington, Devon, 20 acres, 5MW Whitchurch Solar Park, Radstock, Somerset, 34 acres, 5MW Rodbourne Rail Solar Park, Corston,Wiltshire, 41 acres, 6.5MW Pentylands Solar Park, Highworth, Oxfordshire, 91 acres, 15MW
5. The balancing 27% is UK investment.
6. FITS Consultation Comprehensive Review Phase 2A: Solar PV Cost Control. Hive Energy’s contribution of 60MW of generation adds a further 4.7% to the current solar PV generation in the UK.
For further information, interviews, case-studies or to arrange a site visit:
Contact Tim Purbrick on 07773 846 959 or at email@example.com See the Hive Energy website at www.hiveenergy.co.uk