The UK-based company Firma and European Energy are working on a large-scale project in the UK, which involves deals with 30 separate across the country. The aim of the project is to build high-quality solar farms across the UK with grid-connected battery storage.
Firma, based in Yorkshire, will provide its local expertise to the partnership with European Energy, which has extensive experience in “safely and responsibly” developing Solar PV. Founder and Managing Director of Firma, Rufus Salter, discusses how the partnership was formed. “Our link-up with European Energy, one of the leading global renewable energy companies, was built on my previous company Norstar’s partnership with European Energy,” he explains. “Norstar was a diversified business with property development and renewable energy interests; we decided to form Firma as a distinct standalone business consolidating our green energy interests.”
Salter also talks about how the localisation of renewable energy supported the formation of the partnership. “Firma was born out of a desire to focus solely on the delivery of onshore renewable energy projects across the UK with strong partners like European Energy. Having looked at European Energy’s business model and development plans and then talking to them, I knew at once that we could develop a successful partnership.”
The Effect on UK Stakeholders
According to Salter, the partnership has been very successful. The negotiations with 30 agricultural sites - the majority in the north of England - were necessary for the implementation of the project. “We have found farmers very receptive to our risk-free offer to build solar farms on land which is currently under-used,” Salter says.
As a result of successful negotiations, Firma has agreed on the use of around 50 acres of agricultural land to implement the project, which will require Firma to lease the land with annual rent reviews for the next 30 years. The company is also “considering grid-connected battery storage projects as both standalone installations and co-located with solar sites” to manage the grid. According to Salter, Firma is also looking into further technologies to support green energy projects to deliver fuels.