The two new hybrid energy parks, which were given the green light to be built this week, will be some of the first of their kind in Britain. Green energy company Ecotricity have been granted permission to build sun parks in Bulkworthy in Devon and Dalby in Leicestershire. The sun parks will be extensions of existing wind farms to create larger, hybrid renewable centres.
The company also has permission to extend Britain’s first hybrid energy park at Fen Farm in Lincolnshire, by adding an additional 5 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity.
Hybrid renewable energy parks combine wind and sun generation in the same project, in the same place, using the same grid connection – a more efficient, rounded approach to green energy generation in Britain.
All three projects will see 18,000 solar panels installed with a 5MW capacity, powering over 1,000 homes and each saving nearly 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
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Ecotricity also plans to boost the biodiversity across each site, by creating species-rich grassland and planting native hedgerows in the surrounding area.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “Hybrid energy parks like this are the future of energy in Britain. The combination of the wind and the sun makes for a more consistent energy supply – and the potential for Britain’s energy independence is huge.
“Ecotricity is approaching 100MW of generation capacity from the wind and the sun now, and we’ll be adding Green Gas Mills to that next year, making green gas from grass– together that’s a blueprint for Britain.
“Wind and solar made up around 13 per cent of the UK’s entire electricity generation last year – while all renewables together contributed 25 per cent – but we need to be doing more. The current government has cut support for both the wind and solar industries, yet has promised to give nuclear a subsidy at twice the market price for 35 years and has increased support for the oil and gas industries – it’s a government going backwards on climate change.”