Lark Energy develops UK’s ‘largest solar farm’

Developer Lark Energy has announced the successful completion, connection and commissioning of a 33MWp solar power project in Wymeswold Airfield, Leicestershire.

The UK’s "largest solar farm", worth at least £35 million, was constructed on a former World War II airfield, consists of 130,000 Trina Solar modules positioned on land between the old runways covering an area of approximately 61 hectares.

The project was built in less than eight weeks and was connected and commissioned before changes in ROCs took place at the end of March 2013.

Hazel Capital financed the construction of the £35 million project and S.A.G. Solarstrom led the construction with the assistance of Lark Energy, Modus Utilities and Prestwold Farm and its local contractors. Western Power Distribution, the distribution network operator, was instrumental in enabling the project to be connected to the electricity network.

Lark Energy developed the site and worked closely with the Prestwold Estate, Charnwood Borough Council, the local parish councils and the local community in developing its plans and received planning permission at a council planning committee on 8 November 2012.

The airfield is currently being used for a mixture of agricultural, leisure and sporting uses. These include a driving experience operator, which uses a race track running directly through the solar farm development, an HGV training centre, a kite club, and various athletics and equestrian events. None of the current users are affected by the operational solar farm, demonstrating how a solar farm can co-exist successfully with other land uses.

Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of Lark Energy, commented: “As the largest solar farm in the UK, the project has not been without its challenges, both technical and weather related. It is a testament to the teamwork of the various parties involved in its development and delivery that it was completed and connected on time. We are committed to developing a large portfolio of solar projects in the UK over the coming years and see a bright future for this growing industry”.