Wirsol and Hive Energy partner on UK’s largest solar project
The project, a 350 MW installation capable of powering approximately 91,000 average homes in the UK, represents the largest of its kind so far and will require no government subsidies.
Recently granted consent to proceed from Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Cleve Hill will mitigate approximately 68,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, contributing towards the country’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Advancing solar power
Far from being a conventional solar farm, Hive Energy emphasises that Cleve Hill will combine its developmental experience with Wirsol’s engineering prowess to produce a much cleaner overall facility.
“Solar energy is unique. It has the power to transform the world,” stated Giles Redpath, CEO of Hive.
Indeed, with the potential to create large amounts of direct and indirect employment and contributing roughly £12bn to the low-carbon electricity sector, Cleve Hill represents a cleaner, more prosperous future for the UK’s energy industry.
“At Hive Energy, our mission is to create transformational change to deliver a cleaner future for all. Our belief is that renewable energy generation is the most important thing that is going to happen to our planet over the next 50 years,” continued Redpath.
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“Since 2017, we have worked alongside stakeholders and the community to listen to their feedback and to design a solar park that benefits the local environment whilst delivering a significant amount of renewable, affordable and secure energy generation.”
Innovating renewable energy
Utilising specially developed east-west PVs, the design of Cleve Hill is capable of producing 44% more power than facilities using southern oriented panels.
Wirsol will be instrumental in helping Hive to create storage batteries for the energy generated, something which it considers to be generally lacking in UK solar infrastructure.
Capable of reducing energy bottlenecks, lowering operating costs, maintaining grid safety and enabling greater levels of efficiency, battery storage and virtual power plants (VPPs) are indeed becoming imperative for the integration of renewable energy sources to the grid.
With a portfolio of work including solar and green hydrogen, underpinned by circular economic principles, Hive has expanded into international operations in South America, Europe and Africa.
Owing to its strong partnership with Wirsol, it could be that Cleve Hill forms the blueprint for its extended activities abroad and the subsequent advancement of solar farm potential globally.
“We are proud to lead the way, together with our partners at Wirsol, to deliver the UKs largest solar park,” concluded Redpath.
“Due to be operational by 2022, the Cleve Hill Solar Park offers a real solution to our urgent climate needs and showcases the potential for the UK to lead the green recovery.”
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