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The Biggest Solar Farms in the UK

The Biggest Solar Farms in the UK

The solar energy industry has evolved massively over the past few years, allowing solar energy to be produced at a much lower rate than other sources of renewable energy, with a huge number of solar farms being created globally. Supporting the UK’s green energy transition, the collective pipeline of the 469 solar farms dotted across the UK has now reached 11.6GW per year.

Solar farms are large scale applications of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. They have been providing green, renewable and locally sourced energy to large numbers of people and businesses for many years since their initial creation 25 to 30 years ago. Creating and obtaining energy via solar farming is quickly becoming the preferred option for governments, businesses and interested independent investors.

According to 2020 figures, just under 500 solar farms are now in operation in the UK. In just a five-year period, the solar capacity in the UK increased from 5,488.6 MW in 2014 to an astonishing 13,258 MW in June 2019.

We have compiled an info-list on the 5 largest solar farms, also known as solar parks, currently operating in the UK. Read on to find out more!

 

1. SHOTWICK SOLAR PARK

 

In at first place is Shotwick Solar Park located in Flintshire, Wales.

– Commissioned in March 2016, Shotwick Solar Park was collaboratively developed by We-Link Energy and Compton group. 

– Producing 72.2 MW per year and spread over 250 acres, this solar farm is the largest in the UK.

– This solar farm generates and feeds private infrastructure with power. Including the UK’s largest paper mill, UPM Shotton Paper Mill. Shotwick Solar farm supplies 70% of the paper mills’s energy requirements, saving the business 22,5000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

– Helping companies like UPM Shotton Paper Mill offset around one- third of their annual electricity demand. Shotwick Solar Park is the largest private wire solar park in Europe.

 

2. LYNEHAM SOLAR FARM 

 

In at second place is MOD Lyneham Solar Farm in Bradenstoke, Wiltshire:

– Situated on a former runway, Lyneham Solar Farm is the first developed with the British Ministry of Defence (MOD).


– Commissioned in March 2015, Lyneham Solar Farm has a capacity of 69.8MW and covers 213.3 acres of land.

– With a network of over 17 kilometres of interconnecting trenches that draw power from over 160,000 solar PV panels, this solar farm can provide clean power to ten thousand homes as well as a military training college on site.

– AS RAF Lyneham does not house operational aircraft on a day-to- day basis nor is it safeguarded by the MOD, any glint and glare issues associated with solar panels is not relevant in this instance making Lyneham a suitable home for a Green energy project such as this.

 

3. OWL’S HATCH SOLAR PARK 

 

In at third place is Owl’s Hatch Solar Park located at Herne Bay, Kent:

 

– Commissioned in March 2015, this solar farm has a capacity

of 51.9MW.

– Occupying 212 acres of land south of Herne Bay, this solar farm is situated across eight fields.

– With rows of panels standing 2.4 metres tall and titled at a 22- degree angle, this solar farm is considered “dual use” as it uses the land to both generate solar energy and be available for agricultural purposes including sheep grazing.

– 14,000 homes are thought to be supplied with power thanks to Owl’s Hatch Solar Farm.

 

4. WROUGHTON AIRFIELD SOLAR PARK

 
In at fourth place is Wroughton Airfield Solar Park:
 
– One of the largest ground mounted solar farms in the UK, this project is a joint development effort from Public Power Solutions (PPS) and the Science Museum Group who were seeking a solution that would generate an income enabling them to refurbish the aircraft hangers on the former WWII airfield.
– Initially funded by private investors, Wroughton’s local authorities have also invested into this 165-acre solar farm.
– Completed in March 2016 and also connected to the national grid, this solar farm has a capacity of 50MW – enough to power 12,000 homes on solar energy!
 

5. WEST RAYNHAM SOLAR FARM 

 
In at fifth place is West Raynham Solar Farm:
 
– Commissioned in March 2015, this solar farm of nearly 200,000 solar panels is spread over 225 acres of land. 
– With a capacity of 49.8MW, this solar farm situated on a disuse airfield near Fakenham and is capable of serving up to 11,000 houses with solar power.
– Large-scale solar energy investors Bluefield Solar purchased the land for this solar farm at a colossal £56.5m.
 

Why should you switch to solar? 

 
Solar energy is a fantastic option to not only reduce your electricity bills, but to also cut your carbon footprint. A typical home solar PV system could save around one tonne of carbon per year, depending on where you live in the UK. Get in touch today, to see how we can help you switch to solar!