WolfeWare was responsible for the 1.6 MW solar power plant already operational at Westcott Venture Park. It will now be responsible for enlarging it by a 15 MW subsidy-free solar plant. (Photo Credit: Westcott Venture Park)
- Westcott Venture Park in Buckinghamshire Business Park will get an unsubsidized solar power project with 15 MW capacity
- It will be an enlargement for its 1.6 MW solar power plant, leading to a 10-fold increase to the original capacity
- Solar specialist WolfeWare will develop the project, along with BSR EPC Ltd working on construction
Buckinghamshire Business Park’s Westcott Venture Park will be going in for a 15 MW solar power project, which it said will be the first unsubsidized PV power plant in the United Kingdom (UK). The project will also have a provision to add battery storage in the future. Westcott claims it will also become the first carbon-negative business park in the country, as it will generate more power than its tenants use every year.
The 15 MW project will be located on some 76 acres of land within the premises of the Westcott Venture Park in Aylesbury. It will be connected via a new cable connection to the local 33 kV grid. Westcott already has a 1.6 MW plant with 6,102 panels on 10 acres. The new project represents a 10-fold increase and is expected to provide an estimated internal rate of return to the investors of over 7%, stated Westcott.
Solar specialist WolfeWare, that developed the 1.6 MW plant, will manage enlargement of the project. WolfeWare’s Founder Philip Wolfe called it a tribute to the progress of solar technology that has made a project possible without any contribution from the government or tax-payer. BSR EPC Ltd have been contracted to work on detailed design to start construction later in the summer.
In September 2017, the first subsidy-free solar + storage farm was opened in the UK. The 10 MW Clayhill project was developed by British renewable energy developer Anesco.
However, as long as there is no level playing field with fossil fuels and nuclear power plants which are receive high direct and indirect subsidies and the right market design, subsidy free solar plants will remain the exceptions, despite solar often being the lowest cost power generation source already today.