Independent power producer Conrad Energy has secured planning permission for a 15.23MW solar farm in collaboration with Leonardo Helicopters.
The solar farm, the operational start date for which has yet to be announced, will join the company’s 15MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in the Somerset region.
Somerset was the first county council in the UK to pass a motion declaring the climate emergency, and the upcoming Conrad Energy projects are set to benefit the local community.
The firm’s BESS project in the county, which is scheduled to be operational at the end of 2024 and will include 15 energy storage containers, is set to implement measures for a 15.37% gain in habitat units and a 10.4% gain in hedgerow units.
Steven Hardman, Conrad Energy’s CEO, said: “The Leonardo site in Yeovil is an incredibly important business and Conrad Energy’s team is offering a solution to help them move towards their net zero targets, whilst also working to fulfil the aims of the local council.
“Conrad Energy is thrilled to have secured planning consent and look forward to bringing this solar farm to life for the benefit of the local economy and environment.”
Conrad Energy has been expanding its UK portfolio over the last few years, primarily with BESS sites. Most notably, in February 2023, Close Brothers Leasing signed an agreement with independent power producer (IPP) Conrad Energy to provide £85 million in funding for eight BESS across the UK.
The first of these eight sites, a 40MW BESS located in Bedfordshire, was already operational when the deal was signed, and the other seven were all already in the planning or development stages.
Later in the year, in May 2023, Conrad Energy announced that construction started on its first solar farm, the 45MW Larport site.
The solar facility is expected to be commissioned sometime in 2024 and is estimated to generate approximately 44,000MWh per year.