Smith Brothers Contracting has been confirmed as the Independent Connection Provider (ICP) for the planned 500MW solar-plus-storage Sunnica Energy Farm.

The company will provide turnkey electrical engineering services from initial design through to construction, commissioning, and electrical balance of plant. The solar farm will be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, and will power around 100,000 homes.

Dave Ogden, a director at Smith Brothers called the farm “momentous”, saying that “everyone at Smith Brothers is delighted to be working on such a prestigious scheme.”

“Planning works are already well underway, with a 30-strong team from across the business set to collaborate on the turnkey delivery.”

There will be three 132kV private substations as part of the project, and 132kV of cable route will need to be laid in order to connect the site to the Burwell National Grid Substation. Horizontal Directional Drilling will be used to create the 16km of cabling needed, as it much cross challenging infrastructure such as train lines and dual carriageways.  

Luke Murray from Sunnica said: “Solar energy generation and battery storage are a sustainable and clean means of meeting our changing energy needs – particularly the government’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Given the potential scale of the Sunnica Energy Farm, it was vital that we appointed an ICP which had a solid reputation for deliveries of this significance. Although this is the first time we’ve worked with Smith Brothers, we’re well-versed in some of the company’s other renewable project deliveries and are confident the team will ensure a timely and successful energisation.”

Construction of the Sunnica Energy Farm is set to begin in 2022 and first generation in 2025.