The first phase of a potential 50MW solar farm on the former RAF Coltishall airfield in Norfolk has been connected to the grid.

More than 130,000 solar modules are now generating electricity on the former RAF Coltishall airfield, now an economic development area know as Scottow Enterprise Park owned by Norfolk County Council.

In order to qualify for support under the renewable obligation (RO), the first phase of the solar farm needed to be completed and connected to the grid in just seven weeks. David Fyffe of Scottow Moor Solar, the developers of the project recognised the effort of his team in completing the project in time for the RO deadline.

Fyfe said: “We are delighted to have our solar farm generating renewable electricity for the local area. It’s been a monumental team effort from everyone involved and at every stage of the project to deliver the project on time and on budget. It demonstrates how well the public and private sector can work together to mutual benefit.”

The county council said the two phases of the project had the potential to generate £10 million for the authority over its 25-year lifetime. Leader of Norfolk County Council, George Nobbs added: “This is just the sort of sound investment that we are looking for and always encourage. We are guaranteed income over the next 25 years, but not only this, the scheme is creating cleaner energy and saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”

The Council has also confirmed that it will set out proposals for the second phase of the project – around 18MW – in the Autumn. In light of the closure of RO support for solar farms over 5MW, the project will look to competitively bid for support under the Contracts for Difference subsidy regime. The first CfD allocation round saw Cambridgeshire County Council successfully secure one of only five solar CfDs for its 12MW Triangle Farm Solar Park project.