Elgin Energy to build Scotland’s largest solar farm
Planning permission has been granted for Scotland’s largest solar farm, which will have a capacity of 50MW.
The park, which will be developed by the British renewable energy firm Elgin Energy, will be located at Milltown Airfield, Moray.
The Milltown Airfield project will generate enough power to annually provide 15,000 homes and 19,000 electric vehicles with electricity.
The northeast Scottish wind farm is the first solar project to receive approval from the Energy Consents Unit (ECU) – the governmental body that regulates projects of 50MW or above.
The farm will spread across 115 hectares of the former airfield, which is equivalent to 140 football pitches.
“This large-scale project is the fruition of the commitment and vision between Elgin Energy, Innes Estate, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, National Grid, Savills and the rest of our professional support team,” stated Ronan Kilduff, Managing Director of Elgin Energy.
“The ECU, Moray Council and all parties involved in the planning process have been highly engaging and we are delighted with this outcome which is the culmination of almost six years preparatory work.”
“We would hope to begin developing this project in the early 2020s. Elgin Energy is continuing to invest in Scottish solar and across the UK to accelerate the transition to a low carbon, secure and affordable UK energy system.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.