Dutch renewable energy company Eneco has announced that it has purchased the 10.27MW solar farm at South Marston that will help power the local Honda manufacturing plant.
Eneco will work alongside the solar farm’s developer, AEE Renewables, on the 17.6 hectare project, which is expected to be connected to the grid early in 2015.
The completed solar farm is expected to generate 8.73 million kWh per year, providing around 64% of the annual requirement for Honda’s manufacturing plant and negating the emission of 4,580 tonnes of CO2 each year it is operational.
AEE Renewables was recently ‘highly commended’ at the inaugural Solar Power Portal Awards for the company’s extensive community consultation and Eneco has committed to delivering the existing community commitments. Proposals include funding for a speed reduction zone in South Marston village, flood mitigation works and footpath improvements to help encourage cycling and walking around the solar farm site.
The acquisition of Sevor Farm solar farm represents Eneco’s first foray into solar in the UK, having previously focused on wind assets. The move into PV mirrors the company’s domestic strategy as it looks to widen its renewable asset base.
Commenting on the acquisition of the project, Guy Madgwick, director, Eneco UK said: “We are very much looking forward to working with the community, Honda and AEE Renewables to realise what will be Eneco’s first solar project in the UK. Sevor Farm Solar also represents localised self-supply of a large manufacturing business – something that is central to Eneco’s decentralised and sustainable energy strategy.”
A Honda spokesperson said that the company was delighted to be working with Eneco and AEE Renewables on the solar project which will become part of the embedded renewable energy strategy for its manufacturing operation in Swindon.