Sprawling solar powers BT research lab

BT’s research campus in Suffolk will take all the electricity generated by a nearby solar farm under a £26 million deal announced last night. The 16 hectare solar farm with […]

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By Vicky Ellis

BT’s research campus in Suffolk will take all the electricity generated by a nearby solar farm under a £26 million deal announced last night.

The 16 hectare solar farm with more than 32,500 solar panels will send a chunky 8MW of power to BT’s Adastral Park research park.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) will see the solar energy change hands for the next 20 years.

It’s meant to reduce the energy demand of the telecoms group which consumed two Terawatt hours (Twh) of power in 2013/2014.

Over the last five years BT claims it has saved more than £131 million in energy costs.

Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s Head of Research and Managing Director of Adastral Park said: “As a leading technology centre for the UK, we have a responsibility to find innovative ways of reducing our environmental impact.

“This contract represents another great step in reinforcing our sustainable energy plans for the park and BT. This agreement will mean that the solar farm will supply up to 90% of site demand on sunny summer days.”

Don Lord, CEO of UK Sustainable Energy (UK-SE) which is building the solar farm said: “This is the largest dedicated private wire solar project anywhere in the UK with vast environmental benefits and reduced energy costs for BT.”