The UK’s largest solar farm, which is capable of powering 14,000 homes, has now been connected to the National Grid. The news represents the UK’s continuing move towards low-carbon alternatives for energy generation.
The 46-megawatt (MW) Landmead project is a joint venture between First Solar and Belectric and is situated at a 200-acre site in East Hanney, Oxfordshire. The renewable energy generated at the site will contribute to cutting emissions, with an estimated saving of 20 million kilograms of carbon dioxide each year.
Toddington Harper, CEO of Belectric UK, said, “The opening of the UK’s biggest solar farm is good news for the country in a number of ways. Politically and economically, large-scale solar energy makes us less dependent on imported fossil fuels, a lot of which come from unstable regions of the world at unstable prices.”
Despite recent issues around energy security being raised, research from renewable energy firm Good Energy found that the UK is becoming more reliant than ever on imported fossil fuels. In 2011, 43% of the fuel used for electricity came from the UK but this fell to 33.8% in 2013.
Harper added, “From an environmental perspective, every kilo-watt-hour of energy generated from sunlight prevents dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, while the low-grade agricultural land hosting the solar panels will be used to support wildlife, biodiversity and continued sheep farming.
“This is a prime example of the multiple benefits that best-in-class solar projects can deliver to the UK.”
Photo: Intel Free Press via Flickr