Construction begins on our largest UK solar project yet
- Solar energy will be sold to Forterra via 15yr corporate PPA
- Site designed to support sheep grazing underneath the panels
- £560,000 invested in biodiversity enhancements
- Project will use next generation module technology to maximise efficiency
Lightsource bp, a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, today confirmed it has issued notice to kick-start its construction contracts for its largest ever UK solar project. Construction of the 61MWp project will begin at Tiln Farm, Retford in November. Lightsource bp will be investing over £40million into the project, which when complete will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 14,230 UK homes.
The UK is a key market in achieving Lightsource bp’s global ambitions to develop 25GW by 2025. Tiln is the latest project to go into construction as part of Lightsource bp’s UK project development pipeline, which is almost exclusively made up of sites this size and larger. Construction of this project will take approximately 11 months, and around 120 construction jobs will be created during this time.
Once complete, 50GWh of renewable energy generated by the project will be sold to Forterra, a UK building products manufacturer, annually for 15 years via a corporate power purchase agreement. The PPA will provide the company with valuable price certainty and predictability at a time when this is in short supply. The deal enables the company to reduce risk associated with one of its major operating expenses – energy.
Kareen Boutonnat, CEO of EMEA and APAC, Lightsource bp, said: “Deploying solar in the UK is a key aspect of combatting the energy crisis – the fact that we can deliver a +60MWp project like Tiln in under a year is critical. The addition of battery storage is another vital development, helping to dispatch solar to the grid during periods of peak demand. This project is a demonstration of how Lightsource bp is moving at speed to develop sustainable renewable projects, we’re supporting the UK’s low-carbon transition and climate targets.”
Louise Kingham, bp’s head of UK, added: “These are exactly the type of projects we want to see developed – producing clean energy, creating new jobs and supporting local communities. Today’s announcement is an important milestone and critically one step closer to getting another UK solar farm up and running.”
In line with Lightsource bp’s stated sustainability commitments, approximately £560,000 will be spent on the implementation of the bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan and the landscape planting plan during construction and development. A total of 10 acres of the site will remain free from panels and will instead be turned into wildflower meadows to enhance local biodiversity. Lightsource bp has also made strong commitments to supporting rural businesses and communities and these are demonstrated by the Tiln project, which has been designed to be suitable for sheep grazing, allowing agricultural activities to continue on the site.
Tiln Farm will be the first Lightsource bp project to go into construction using n-type TOPCon modules, which utilise a different composition of the materials inside the panel that reduces losses and so improves efficiency, following extensive research and trials. This shift in technology demonstrates the company’s push to increase the efficiency of solar projects via real investment into research and development. Lightsource bp is also actively exploring the addition of battery storage at Tiln Farm in the near future, further increasing the benefits of the solar project.
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