Conergy connects RWE's first UK solar farm

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Conergy has connected a 37 MW solar power plant to the grid for RWE Supply & Trading, the energy trading division of German utility giant RWE.

Located on a disused airfield at Kencot Hill, close to the historic village of Burford in West Oxfordshire — the parliamentary constituency of British Prime Minister David Cameron — the new power plant is already producing enough electricity to supply 10,000 homes in the local area.

Conergy will continue to operate and maintain the plant after its ownership is transferred to Foresight Solar Fund Limited, a London Stock Exchange-listed fund managed by Foresight Group.

Conergy noted that the Kencot Hill site was well-screened from the area’s busy neighboring roads after the company planted 15 acres of woodland and installed and reinforced two miles of hedgerows. The solar farm has planning permission for 24 years, after which the land must be returned to its original use. In that time, it is expected to avoid the release of a quarter of a million tons of greenhouse gases.

"Large solar plants in the right places, like Kencot Hill, already allow thousands of people to run their washing machines and recharge their iPhones," said Conergy UK Managing Director Robert Goss. "They don’t think about where the electricity comes from, but when they’re asked what kind of power they want, most say solar. There are plenty of brownfield sites left in Britain, and a temporary invisible solar farm will always be more popular with the locals than a new housing estate or giant nuclear power station."

Conergy’s international projects business tripled in the 12 months to June, when Bloomberg New Energy Finance ranked the company among the top five biggest builders of solar farms in the U.K.