Solarcentury today announces that it has been evaluating land to the north east of St. Asaph, Wales, for the development of a new solar farm – Elwy Solar Energy Farm.
The development will be Solarcentury's first new project in the UK since 2016, underlining the evolution of the UK solar industry in recent years and the significant fall in solar costs that have made the technology financially viable in a subsidy-free environment.
The land identified for development is north of the A55 North Wales Expressway and west of the A525 – and has been carefully chosen for its potential to deliver high levels of solar-powered electricity to the grid. With a solar project of 62MWp proposed, the site would generate 60 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power over 20,000 homes, via an array of solar panels mounted on the ground. It is also planned to install batteries at the site allowing the solar power to be used day or night.
Once planning is approved, Solarcentury anticipates that Elwy Solar Energy Farm will create local jobs and numerous supply contracts during the construction, operation and maintenance phase of the build, while contributing business rates to the local council. In addition, with the site's mix of dry and wet, shaded and sunny areas, once properly planted and managed the solar farm will support a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, bats and bumblebees.
Frans van den Heuvel, CEO at Solarcentury, said:"We are excited to be exploring options in Wales for our first UK solar development in four years. Solar farms like Elwy, which have the potential to generate significant amounts of clean solar energy and feed it directly into the UK's national grid, while at the same time supporting local employment, will be essential in helping the UK Government achieve its goal of net zero by 2050.Thanks to the rapid evolution of solar technology in recent years, it is now the cheapest form of new energy generation in the UK, meaning the industry can thrive again without the need for Government subsidies. As a global business with a proud UK heritage, we are committed to leading the charge on expanding the UK's supply of solar energy and are identifying other sites for future development."
Chris Banks, UK Business Development Manager at Solarcentury, added:"We are extremely excited about the economic and environmental benefits that Elwy Solar Energy Farm could bring to the local community, while supporting both Wales and Denbighshire County Council in achieving their renewable energy targets.We want the local community to be involved in the process leading up to any planning application being submitted and will be asking for feedback and views over the coming months.We look forward to sharing our plans with the community at our first information sessions which we plan to hold locally in March 2020. Local Councillors, community groups and residents will all be invited, with details of these events being publicised soon."