Anesco has received planning permission for three UK solar farms, with the company expecting to agree new development and construction partnerships with investors later this year.
The three solar farms form part of Anesco's 600MW pipeline of new solar and storage projects that are at the planning and ready to built stage, with part of this pipeline to be sold to Gresham House through a 200MW ground mount solar development and construction partnership, which was signed in January 2021. The transaction – which has a value in excess of £100 million – was billed as Anesco's largest, with Gresham House financing the assets while Anesco provides all the engineering, procurement and construction services.
Anesco said it expects several more of these partnerships to be agreed later this year, with these to be similar to the one with Gresham House as interest in the company's end-to-end capabilities “continues to grow among investors”.
Construction of the first of the three solar farms that have just been granted planning approval – the 10MW High Meadow 2 development in Stockton-on-Tees – is to begin in April. Ground is to be broken on the other two solar farms by the end of the year, with these being the 25MW Moat Farm site in Aylesbury and Woodwalton and a 20MW development in Cambridgeshire.
The sites are all to have an advanced biodiversity management plan, with High Meadow to achieve a 173% biodiversity net gain while Moat Farm is to achieve 216%. This will be done through the planting of hedgerows, wildflower meadows and the introduction of other measures designed to create habitats for local wildlife and at-risk bird species.
“If the UK is to successfully transition to net zero then it’s vital we have the renewable infrastructure needed to decarbonise the energy network. That means solar and storage being built at speed in the coming years,” Mark Futyan, Anesco CEO, said.
Anesco's current 600MW pipeline includes a 20MW solar farm in Derbyshire, a 50MW solar farm in Lincolnshire and two battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of 100MW that are being built by Anesco for two investors.
The company has constructed more than 100 solar farms and 30 energy storage facilities in the UK and Europe to date.