It's PV-Time: SENS plans 50 MWp solar park in England
SENS receives planning permission for a 50 MWp solar park with energy storage in the East of England
Close to the River Great Ouse river and the Wash Estuary, surrounded by wide fields and woods, King's Lynn is located in the East of England. The Hanseatic historic town of King’s Lynn was one of England’s most important ports from as early as the 12th century and this maritime past is still in evidence today. Much of the land to the North of King’s Lynn has been productively farmed for the last few hundred years. In the future, however, these fields will also produce zero carbon energy: SENS has therefore developed a 50 MWp solar park with a coupled storage system, which has now received planning permission.
55 GWh for approximately 14,700 households per year
A total output of 50 MWp of solar modules will provide an annual yield of 55 GWh. But that’s not all, SENS UK will be constructing the solar park with a 15 MWh battery storage facility. The energy can be stored and used at times of lower solar irradiation, as well as supplying local businesses through private wire solutions.
During the 40-year life of the solar park, the equivalent of 14,700 British households will be supplied with 100 % renewable energy each year. In addition, the project will make a significant contribution to the production of clean energy ensuring the transition to a low-carbon economy. The output of the solar park will be supplied to private households as well as local businesses. As a result, approximately 11.700 tonnes of CO2 will be saved annually.
A solar park to generate clean energy and enhance biodiversity
Not only will the solar park contribute significantly to providing renewable energy but has a huge potential to provide additional environmental benefits. During the 40-year lifespan of the solar park, the arable land under the solar modules can also recover sufficiently. Thus, in the long term, the area benefits from the regeneration of the soil and can subsequently be used again for agricultural purposes.
But that's not all: The whole site will be taken out of intensive agricultural use, resulting in huge benefits for wildlife in the locality. Two and half acres has been dedicated solely for enhancing the ecology and biodiversity on the park. Furthermore, there will be over 1 km of new hedgerows planted along an existing footpath, to screen the site from view but also to increase the biodiversity value of the site using native mixed plantings.
Working with King's Lynn & West Norfolk borough Council, a management plan will be agreed and will include further ecological measures established on the field margins, including the planting of wildflower seed mix and other ways to enhance habitat for local biodiversity.
Project development completed in only two years
Together with co-development partner Namene Solar, SENS UK has obtained the necessary permits for the project. The contracts were signed in December 2019, after only two years of development.
Throughout the project development, SENS UK was supported by its co-development partner Namene Solar, a UK-based provider of solar products and services.
In addition to Estuary solar park, a further 200 MWp will be developed over the next two years under the collaboration between SENS and Namene Solar.
Potential of the PV market in the UK
As an O&M service provider, SENS has already been active in the UK for many years. Some utility scale projects have also been realised in the past. However, thanks to public demand for renewable energy in the country, the expansion of solar energy is to be pushed even further. The UK government is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 78 % by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, which requires ambitious measures to expand solar energy. The public in the UK is also behind initiatives to mitigate climate change: 80 % are now in favour of renewable energy deployment, especially solar energy.
SENS UK will be able to draw on the expertise from Würzburg’s engineering team and will work together in the UK to advance the energy transition in the country.
Image: Regenology UK