Anesco has celebrated the formal opening of the first subsidy-free solar farm in the UK.
The Clayhill project includes 6 MW of energy storage and is “a landmark development” that “paves the way for a sustainable future”, Anesco Chairman Steve Shine said. He added: “It proves that the government’s decision to withdraw subsidies doesn’t have to signal the end of solar as a commercially viable technology.”
The 10 MW solar farm, located in Bedfordshire, is equipped with five battery storage units and was built in 12 weeks.
“The cost of solar panels and batteries has fallen dramatically over the past few years, and this first subsidy-free development at Clayhill is a significant moment for clean energy in the UK,” said Claire Perry, Minister for Climate Change & Industry.
Anesco said it navigated a range of technical and commercial complexities to achieve a subsidy-free development at Clayhill. One technical solution it achieved was the use of a 1500 V string inverter system – the first of its kind in the UK.
Other large-scale post-subsidy solar farms are being planned in the UK, according to Solar Media Market Research. In a recent report, the firm said that there is a pipeline of over 3 GW of ground-mounted projects in the pipeline across 312 sites, over 700 of which include energy storage capacity.