A new solar farm is set to reduce a Rutland company’s energy costs and improve the county’s carbon emissions.
Built on 20 hectares of the former quarry site belonging to Hanson Cement, in Ketton, the 38,544 solar panels will generate enough electricity to cover around 10 per cent of the company’s annual consumption.
It is also expected to contribute to lowering Rutland’s per capita carbon emissions.
The 9MWp (megawatt-peak) solar farm, opened by Hanson’s chief executive Patrick O’Shea on Tuesday, is the first phase.
A 3MWp will be built later this year.
Jointly developed by Lark Energy, of Bourne and Armstrong Energy, London, the project used a pioneering approach in managing how the solar farm connected to the National Grid.
It means power from the solar farm feeds into Hanson’s private 11kv network which is connected to the district operator’s network.
The innovative design of the solar farm is a UK first and allows active and reactive power management which has a number of advantages, including minimising the need for costly upgrade work and reducing Hanson’s energy costs.
Mark Cox, contracts manager at Hanson Cement Solar Farm said: “It has been very rewarding for the Hanson Renewable Energy Team to see the first of their projects come to fruition with the switch on of the solar farm.
“This is the first of what is hoped are many such projects the company will be involved in over the coming years as we strive to reduce our CO2 emissions and energy costs”
Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of Lark Energy said: “Large scale solar is perfectly suited to projects such as this on previously used industrial land and where all the energy can be utilised directly by nearby businesses.”