Santander UK has provided £25 million in funding to South Farm Solar Ltd, a subsidiary of global energy producer Voltalia, to support the construction and operation of a new solar farm.
The project aims to deliver over half of the electricity needs of the City of London Corporation.
Located near Spetisbury, Dorset, the 49.9MW ground-mounted solar farm, developed and maintained by Voltalia, commenced commercial operations in January.
Southern Electric Power Distribution facilitated the grid connection with an export capacity of 40MW, connecting to an existing tower through a 132kV overhead line.
The completion of the South Farm site, coupled with the grid connection certification obtained in December 2022, enabled the solar farm to begin providing electricity to the City Corporation.
Under a 15-year power purchase agreement, the City Corporation has procured 100% of the electricity generated by South Farm, aligning with its Climate Action Strategy.
The strategy outlines targets for the City Corporation to achieve net zero in its operations by 2027 and extend this commitment to investments and the supply chain by 2040.
Notably, South Farm will power prominent London landmarks including Tower Bridge, Hampstead Heath, the Barbican Centre, and the historic Guildhall headquarters.
Simon Holt, UK Country Manager at Voltalia, expressed the significance of the Santander UK partnership in realising the South Farm project.
Holt emphasised the UK’s potential to deliver more such projects in the future, contributing to the confidence and bankability of renewable energy in the country.
Howard Whitehead, Senior Relationship Director at Santander UK, expressed pride in supporting organisations like Voltalia that generate renewable energy in the UK.
Keith Bottomley, Deputy Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, praised the project as a pioneering blueprint for local authorities across the UK.