Lightsource Renewable Energy has announced the acquisition of a new 6.3 MW solar farm developed and built in Southampton by Solarcentury.
Lightsource managing director Kareen Boutonnat commented: “Utility scale solar PV like this site on Chalcroft Farm is a key component in the UK’s drive towards achieving its renewable energy targets.
“We are pleased to continue working with our development partners like Solarcentury, JA Solar and Hilti to play a key role in delivering these targets.”
Ms Boutonnat added: “There has been much speculation regarding the viability of utility scale solar development in the UK recently. We stand firm in our belief that this market will continue to grow further and we will support this growth proactively to the best of our ability.”
The total rented land from Chalcroft Farm is 13.5 ha; however, the panels and infrastructure of the solar farm only occupy about 30 per cent in total. A total of 25,632 JA Solar panels are mounted on aluminium frames supplied by Hilti which are rammed into the ground.
This form of farmland diversification is of minimal impact to the landscape and therefore proving popular to farmers who wish to source a form of guaranteed income against the recent atrocious weather conditions.
The solar farm has now been connected to the grid and at peak generation times, it is expected to produce enough green electricity to power over 1,800 households continually without any noise or pollution.
Although Lightsource has now acquired this project, Solarcentury has been retained under an operations and maintenance contract for 2 years, after which the responsibility of maintaining the plant will be handed over to the Lightsource in-house maintenance team.