June 17, 2014 – First Solar and BELECTRIC GmbH today announced the grid connection of three utility-scale power plants in the United Kingdom. Together, the projects will produce approximately 33,900,000kWh of electricity per year, which is sufficient to supply the energy needs of an estimated 10,200 average homes.
The largest of the three facilities, the 14MW Marsh Solar Farm in Wiltshire, is owned by KGAL's ESPF 3 renewable energy fund for institutional investors. The 10.5MWA Weston Longville Solar Farm in Norfolk and the 10MWA Holton Solar Farm in Suffolk are owned by the BBIP infrastructure fund. Together, the projects will displace approximately 11,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to planting about 3,260,000 trees or removing over 4,300 cars from Britain's roads.
The plants have been designed to have a minimal impact on the communities and ecosystems they are located in. The site will feature a biodiversity enhancement program to further mitigate its impact on local ecosystems. Similarly, Marsh Solar Farm was also built on a decommissioned airfield, while the Weston Longville Solar Farm features a habitat management initiative.
"The United Kingdom is a fast growing photovoltaic market and these plants are an important demonstration of our combined ability to effectively deliver clean, reliable solar energy in the United Kingdom," said Martin Zembsch, Chief Business Development Officer of BELECTRIC. "The plants were completed and grid-connected on schedule and on budget, in keeping with BELECTRIC's quality-based philosophy. We're proud to have partnered with First Solar, whose advanced thin-film modules are powering all three plants."
"As the United Kingdom embraces the potential of clean and affordable solar electricity, these projects represent a new milestone in the country's development of a sustainable solar energy portfolio," said Stefan Degener, Managing Director, First Solar GmbH. "The projects also represent the latest success in First Solar's longstanding partnership with BELECTRIC, demonstrating how our companies are capable of bringing together industry-leading capabilities and technologies to deliver reliable solar energy in virtually any market."