The 120MW ground-mounted solar PV plant will provide over 100 local green jobs. Image: Sonnedix.

Sonnedix has started construction of Cowley Complex, the largest solar plant in its 300MW UK portfolio.  

The 120MW ground-mounted solar PV plant – set to become one of the largest PV plants in the UK upon completion in 2025 – will provide over 100 local green jobs. 

Located in County Durham, the Cowley Complex will consist of three connected 60MW, 43MW, and 17MW sites.  

Sonnedix stated that, once operational, it will supply roughly 124,600MWh of renewable electricity annually, enough to power 35,000 UK homes and avoid almost 48,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.  

Cowley Complex is being built by EPC contractor Ameresco Sunel Energy, and will play a role in achieving the global renewable energy producer’s ambition of leading the UK transition to renewables.  

In 2022, Sonnedix expanded its presence in the UK with the acquisition of a five-project strong solar PV portfolio of 300MW developed by Lightsource bp. 

Axel Thiemann, CEO of Sonnedix, said: “With construction of the largest plant in our UK portfolio underway, we have marked a major milestone in our UK growth strategy. We are excited to be progressing our presence in the market and becoming a key player in helping the UK transition towards a clean, secure and sustainable energy system and meeting its decarbonisation goals.” 

The project is the first to draw from the EUR500 million loan facility Sonnedix secured in December 2023 to be used to finance projects in Europe, particularly Spain, Italy and the UK. The multicurrency loan allows it to cluster, contract and construct its development pipeline of renewable plants more efficiently and flexibly.  

The whole UK portfolio is 100% contracted under the UK government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which provides long-term price and revenue security. The CfD scheme will become effective in 2026 after the construction of Cowley Complex is completed. 

Jorge Amiano Goyarrola, global head of engineering and construction, said: “We’re extremely excited to be breaking ground on the Cowley site. At 120MW, this is an important infrastructure project for the local area, providing over 100 green jobs during construction and the secure supply of green, affordable energy once operational.  

“We’re very proud to be working on what is set to be one of the largest solar PV plants across the whole of the UK once completed.”