EDF Renewables' largest UK solar site gets planning consent
Planning consent has been given for EDF Renewables’ (EDF R) Sutton Bridge solar farm, the company's first large-scale solar project in the UK. Construction will start later this year with a scheduled completion in 2022.
South Holland District Council, in Lincolnshire, has given permission for the project to go ahead after a period of local consultation.
The 49.9MW solar farm will be capable of generating enough low carbon renewables electricity for the domestic needs of 16,100 households annually, based on average consumption, saving around 21,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
EDF Renewables Head of Solar, Ben Fawcett said Sutton Bridge is a great site for solar as it catches the sun and offers a nearby grid connection.
"Sutton Bridge is at the forefront of several solar projects we have planned in the UK. Our renewables projects will enable us to contribute to the UK’s green economic recovery from COVID-19 and help the country accelerate to a net zero future," he said.
"We also want to discuss with local people the implementation of the community fund which will have a value of £10,000 every year once the project is up and running," he added.
Through additional planting, including native species hedgerows we will encourage biodiversity as well as reduce any visual impact of the development.
The project team will now explore battery storage and the potential for future EV charging possibilities at the site too. Along with solar power, battery storage and EV rapid charging are both significant enablers for the UK’s goals to reach net zero by 2050.
In January, EDF Renewables announced plans to build phase two of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator (BOD) wind farm off the coast of Northumberland using floating offshore wind technology (click here).
The capacity for phase two has still to be finalised but the current consent for BOD wind farm is for a maximum of 99.9MW, leaving a remaining capacity of 58.4MW.
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.