Clean energy firm Anesco has officially opened the first subsidy-free solar farm in the UK.
Claire Perry MP, the Minister for Climate Change and Industry, unveiled the 10MW Clayhill facility near Flitwick, Bedfordshire, which also features 6MW of battery storage capabilities to help balance the power grid.
Its developers told ELN the clean power plant’s 30,000 panels will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 2,500 homes and save 4,452 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The firm says it proves the government’s decision to withdraw subsidies doesn’t have to signal the end of solar as a commercially viable technology.
Kevin Mouatt, CEO of Anesco, told ELN: “What makes a difference between this type of solar park and the previous ones that have been in the UK is the inverter – normally you’d have a solar park built with a 1,100 volt string inverter.
“It’s around a 35%, 36% cost reduction over a normal solar park and that’s achieved because you can have longer arrays of your solar panels because you’re using 1,500 volts.
“This design we’ve come up with here now makes it viable that you can have a solar park that’s subsidy free.”
Ms Perry agreed that the idea could revolutionise the renewable energy industry.
She told ELN: “We’re seeing sites like this which are subsidy free and really innovative in terms of what they’re doing.
“I think it’s a really, really good model and it would be great to see this replicated right across the UK.”