GRIDSERVE has announced the completion and hand over of the UK’s most advanced solar farm to Warrington Borough Council in a project which paves the way for a nationwide expansion of subsidy-free renewable power, to meet the UK’s net zero power commitments.
The 34.7MWp solar farm at York is the largest to be completed since 2016, and it is pioneering a new commercial model using 30 MWh of battery storage and sophisticated technologies to maximise revenues and help balance the grid – both during the day with direct solar generation and at night with energy stored in the 30MW battery.
The project, which generates enough energy to supply a town, also demonstrates how local authorities can partner with developers to deliver projects which cut carbon, supply clean electricity, and generate millions of pounds for councils to fund essential services.
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.”
In addition to the York hybrid solar project, Warrington Borough Council is also purchasing a second 25.7MWp solar farm at Hull, which is due to be handed over early next year. GRIDSERVE will operate and maintain both projects over their lifetimes to maximise system performance and value for the council.
Warrington expects the two projects to generate millions of pounds in profits every year and generate an operating surplus of over a hundred million pounds over 30 years to invest in essential services. Electricity from York hybrid solar farm will be sold on the open market while Hull will supply all the council’s energy needs. The deal will make it the first local authority to produce all its own electricity.
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.