Ecotricity solar farm hits generation target in first year of operation

Green energy company Ecotricity’s Fen Farm Sun Park in Lincolnshire, Britain’s first large-scale solar farm, has hit electricity generation targets in its first 12 months of operation.

In its first year, the park generated over 884,000kWh of electricity from its 1MW installation with 5,157 solar panels spread over 1.95 hectares. It has since passed the one million kilowatt hour mark.

Ecotricity said the park generates enough electricity to power around 260 homes, saving 377 tonnes of CO2. The plot is also occupied by a 16MW windfarm, creating Britain’s first hybrid energy park.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said the company had planned further projects on the scale of Fen Farm, but been forced to abandon them because of the government's decision to cut the solar feed-in tariff. “Ecotricity had plans for several more large-scale sun parks across the UK, which could also have been generating for the last 12 months. Those plans were mothballed as a result of the government’s decision to pull-the-plug on the solar industry.

“Last year every British household had £17 added to their annual energy bill to help build renewable energy infrastructure (including wind, solar, biomethane and hydro) which is now delivering 10% of Britain’s total electricity needs. By comparison every household also had £120 added to their energy bill simply due to the rising cost of gas on the global energy markets. Unlike the renewable support, that extra £120 didn’t build any extra electricity generation, it just covered the cost of buying ever more expensive fossil fuels.”