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UK to See First Unsubsidized Industrial Solar Park

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British Solar Renewables EPC has been selected by WolfeWare to deliver a fully-wrapped engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) solution for the UK’s first unsubsidized industrial solar park. Construction of the site at Westcott Venture Park is set to start this summer. The project will make the site, which is owned by Rockspring, the country’s first carbon-negative business park.
UK to See First Unsubsidized Industrial Solar Park
Courtesy of British Solar Renewables

The ground-breaking project will have an installed capacity exceeding 15 MW and cover some 76 acres within Westcott Venture Park. It will be connected via a new cable connection to the local 33kV grid and include provision for adding battery energy storage at a later date.

Rod Mordey, a Director of Rockspring Property Investment Managers, on behalf of the owners of the business park, said, "We are committed to creating an environmentally sustainable business park and this is one of the key initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint."

BSR Connect and BSR O&M are expected to operate and maintain the park once it is completed.

“Unsubsidized solar is still in the early stages of development but our integrated delivery model gives us a head-start in delivering this and future projects,” said Managing Director of BSR Group, Graham Harding. “We are delighted to be collaborating with WolfeWare and Rockspring to deliver this pioneering site at Westcott.”

In 2011, Westcott established its first 1.6MWp subsidized solar park, comprising 6,102 solar panels over 10 acres. It has generated more than 11GWh to date, avoiding over 4,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The new project will represent a ten-fold increase, producing over 14.5GWh/year with a (25 year) lifetime yield in excess of of 340GWh. Any energy which is surplus to the requirements of the business park will enter the grid through a 33kV connection.

Westcott Venture Park is located between Bicester and Aylesbury and boasts a strong history of innovative technological developments. Of these, rocket propulsion research has been perhaps its best known, having been home to various UK test rocket projects since 1946. The 650-acre park is owned by Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust, managed by Lambert Smith Hampton and is home to 76 businesses providing employment for more than 600 people.

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