The site will reduce Cadent’s energy expenses as well improving its environmental credentials. Credit: Cadent.

Cadent, Britain’s largest gas distribution network has launched its first solar farm, comprising 388 solar panels.

The panels have been installed at Cadent’s site in Brisley, North Norfolk. The PV array has a peak capacity of 130kW, enough to power the site and nine other above ground Cadent installations nearby.

Any excess electricity generated at the site will be fed into the grid, helping to power local homes, schools and businesses, the company has said. The panels have an estimated lifespan of 25 years, producing around 12MW a year, and are fitted with power optimisers to ensure they remain efficient. 

The site will be able to benefit the company economically, reducing Cadent’s energy expenses as well improving its environmental credentials. 

Cadent Network supervisor, Robert Davies, came up with the project concept and helped to develop the idea with his team over a year of planning before the array was constructed in 2019. They worked with Aughton Automation as the principle designer and contractors, along with Empower Energy who were the suppliers and constructors.

He said that: “The concept was relatively straightforward with clear cut environmental and economic benefits.”

The project received £160,000 of funding, and has been hailed as a “resounding success” by the company. Cadent says it is looking into similar projects in the future. 

The company’s director of east network Darren Elsom, said: “As a company Cadent is committed to being innovative, efficient and to making a positive contribution to the environment.

“This project is a textbook example of how we can do all of those things and achieve a great result.”