RWE Supply & Trading, the German utility's trading arm, has acquired its first solar farm project in the UK, a 37MW development on a disused airfield in Oxfordshire, England.

RWE has revealed that it will provide financial and technical support for the project, with the UK-based arm of Conergy taking care of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the solar farm.

The 52-hectare solar site is located on brownfield land on a disused airfield 19 miles from Oxford city centre. The farm’s 144,000 solar modules are predicted to generate around 36 million kWh of electricity in its first year of operation – enough to power 10,000 local homes.

RWE expects the project to be connected to the grid towards the end of the summer. Once complete, RWE has agreed to sell the solar farm to Foresight Solar Fund, a London Stock Exchange listed fund manager dedicated to UK solar projects.

Commenting on the company’s acquisition, Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading, said: “Utilising our project development, procurement and structuring skills, including expertise from RWE Innogy, we will deliver to Foresight a substantial, fully commissioned and Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) accredited solar PV park.

Judisch explained why he believes the company’s first UK solar project is original to the market. He said: “This finance model is very innovative: As the first such structure for RWE in the UK solar PV market, RWE is providing the crucial construction finance required to bridge the requirements of the project developer and EPC contractors of such a renewable energy project and the requirements of institutional investors into renewables. “RWE aims in future to repeat this structure, attracting additional investors and thus helping the UK and other European governments to deliver their CO2 reduction and renewables targets.”

The 37MW solar farm will mitigate the emission of approximately 380,000 tonnes of CO2  over the site’s 24-year project lifetime.