The first project to be financed by its Ecobonds proceeds will see Ecotricity use an existing wind farm location in Lincolnshire, to build a 1MW PV power plant, making it the first hybrid renewable energy project in the UK. To be owned and operated by Ecotricity, planning permission by East Lindsey Council has recently been approved.

Groundbreaking on the 4.7 acre (1.9 hectare) site is expected in the next few weeks with grid connection planned in March, 2011. Although other plants have received or are close to receive planning approval, the Ecotricity project could be one of the first utility-scale projects to be commissioned in the UK.

The Ecotricity project is being funded by the proceeds of its new Ecobonds, which allow the public and investors to invest in renewable energy projects.

Ecotricity declined requests from SPP to reveal suppliers of the modules and inverters to be used for the project – citing competitive reasons for the nondisclosure. Project costs or expected output from the plant were also not disclosed.

However, Ecotricity noted that due to the existence of a sub-station at the site as the Wind Farm has been in operation since 2008, the company expects the 1MW plant to be cost effective. The ‘energy payback’ of the site was said to be only two years.