Renewable energy firm BayWa r.e. and Railpen have confirmed that the 30MWp Bracks Solar Farm in Cambridgeshire has entered commercial operation.
Construction of the project started in September 2022. In early 2023, the Bracks Solar Farm was sold to UK Railway Pension Scheme, a fund managed by Railpen. The investment firm manages £37 billion in assets.
The project consists of 55,000 solar panels and is connected to the grid via an existing overhead cable located approximately 300 metres to the southwest of the site entrance. A concept image of the site can be seen below:
According to the two companies, sheep grazing (agrivoltaics) will be permitted at the solar farm from 2024 onwards and local farmers will be given the first opportunity for the licence. A number of biodiversity measures have also been included into the project’s plans such as hedgerow planting as well as the installation of bat, bird and owl boxes.
The two companies officially opened the solar farm at an event on 27 September 2023.
John Milligan, managing director at BayWa r.e. UK said: “Solar farms are essential to achieve the UK’s goal of net zero carbon by 2050 and ensure homes and businesses can be powered by clean, renewable, and domestically generated energy.
“The successful commercial operation of Bracks Solar Farm is testament to the hard work put in by our team. With a development pipeline of 2GW across solar, wind and storage projects, we are looking forward to delivering more projects over the coming years.”
Anna Rule, head of real assets at Railpen said: “We recognise the dual purpose of investing in projects such as the Bracks Solar Farm. First, by investing funds into wind, solar, biomass and battery storage projects, we’re actively participating in the UKs green energy transition.
“Second, by investing in UK property and infrastructure is driven our belief that real estate is an enabler of economic growth. Pension funds, like the railways pension schemes, see the opportunity to support the UK’s green transition as one which not only supports the financial goals of the scheme, but has far-reaching benefits to the UK economy, communities, and the world around us.”