The 129-acre site is on a disused airfield classified as brownfield land at Kencot Hill, 19 miles from the City of Oxford. Once connected towards the end of this summer, the 144,000-panel ground-mounted plant will produce enough electricity to power 10,000 homes, with the majority of the power used by local residents, businesses and public sector organisations.
“Conergy has worked on large solar plants worldwide with a combined capacity of 600MW, and we are proud to have been selected by RWE for its first solar project in the UK, which will be one of the largest in the country,” said Alexander Gorski, Conergy’s global COO and CEO for Europe.
Robert Goss, MD Conergy UK, welcomed RWE’s commitment to British solar, noting that "large-scale plants in the right places, like Kencot Hill, already provide power to tens of thousands of homes, and will avoid millions of tonnes of carbon emissions.”
Kencot Hill is one of a number of projects in Conergy’s robust UK project pipeline for 2014, of which 68MW were completed in the first three months of this year. RWE Supply & Trading has an agreement to sell the solar farm once complete to Foresight Solar Fund Limited, a LSE-listed fund managed by Foresight Group, a £1 billion UK-based infrastructure asset manager.
Hedgerows will be reinforced to hide much of the site from public view, and to boost biodiversity and local wildlife. The new zero-carbon power station will also save approximately 380,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the next twenty four years – the length of time for which the site has permission – based on the energy mix of today’s National Grid.