Veolia recycles landfill site into UK’s largest solar site

These projects are crucial to meet renewable energy targets says Matt Partridge, Development Director, REG Power Management who have partnered with Veolia

Water management, waste management and energy services company Veolia delivers ecological transformation for its customers through decarbonisation, de-pollution, and resource generation.

The French multinational company is turning the restored landfill site at its Ockendon facility in Essex into the UK’s largest solar array with 59MWp of renewable electricity capacity that is capable of generating electricity equivalent to the demand of over 15,000 homes.

“This latest renewable energy development is a further step towards achieving a net zero carbon future for the UK, and a demonstration of how we can transform this restored landfill to give it a new life,” shares Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer, Treatment at Veolia.


Partnering for clean energy development

The site is being developed in collaboration with technology provider REG Power Management, which was founded in 2005 and is dedicated to developing new renewable energy projects to help in the shift to a zero carbon future.

“We’re delighted to have worked with Veolia to help deliver another significant clean energy development,” says Matt Partridge, Development Director at REG Power Management.

“Projects like this are essential if we are to meet our targets for low cost, zero emission electricity generation using the UK’s abundant renewable energy resources.”

The site is equipped with approximately 107,000 solar modules rated at 540Wp or 545Wp, designed to maximise power density by absorbing sunlight on both sides.

The move is part of the companies landfill restoration programme which began in 2017 and comes after a series of solar panels were installed across multiple sites in 2021.

In total, Veolia generates 800GWh of electricity through a combination of solar, biomass, biogas, and Energy Recovery facilities (ERF), all qualifying under the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme, equivalent to powering 240,000 homes.

“Through harnessing the power of the sun to deliver renewable electricity we are advancing our aim to achieve ecological transformation, and countering climate change,” says Macphail.

“The project also has greater significance as the solar arrays have minimal ground level impact, so the wildlife that has repopulated the restored land can continue to coexist with the technology.”

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