Largest Solar Farm in the UK Gets Connected

The switch has been flicked on what could well be one of the country’s last large scale solar projects; a solar farm park in Oxfordshire that counts the Environment Agency amongst its tenants.

Howbery Business Park claims to be the first to connect a large-scale, ground-mounted solar system to the grid and given the recently announced drastic cuts to the feed-in tariff (Fit) scheme, it may well be one of the last of its kind in the UK for some time.

The solar farm park is expected to generate up to 682MWh a year for its 20 tenants and will save 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the same period, according to Solarcentury, the UK-based solar firm that built the array, which features around 3,000 solar panels. The company’s chief executive, Derry Newman, said the Howbery system showed the “serious role solar power can play in our energy mix”.

“Solar is not to be underestimated; it is the fastest-growing energy technology in the world, simply because it is clean, reliable and a readily available alternative to fossil fuels,” he added.

The array at Howbery Business Park is one of the first to be connected under the feed-in tariff scheme, which, from August, will see up to 70% reductions in payments to solar systems over 50kW – cuts that industry experts believe will cause large scale solar projects to be regarded as uneconomic.

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