Plans advance for UK’s first solar + storage Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project


Not only does the project aim to become the first NSIP of its kind, due to its planned size, but it is also set to be among the lowest cost electricity generators in the United Kingdom, requiring no subsidy support.

The team behind Cleve Hill Solar Park, which initiated the first bid survey for the project in 2014, submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the U.K. Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on November 16. It now has to wait until 2019-2020 for a decision.

The landmark project, if it goes ahead, will be located on the north Kent coast, in England. It plans to supply 91,000 homes with electricity, with the storage component helping to deliver energy at times of high demand.

Following local public consultation, the original plans have been adjusted to remove 28.5 hectares (70 acres) of solar panels; and add a 3.5 km hedgerow and a lowland meadow for invertebrates and pollinators. A habitat management area for migratory birds has also been planned, spanning 56 hectares (138 acres).

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No details were provided on the project's exact size, or the amount of investment that will be required.

Wirsol has already commissioned 24 solar parks in the United Kingdom totaling 159 MW, and is in the process of developing four subsidy free parks worth 62 MW in the country. In Australia, meanwhile, it has just announced the commissioning of a 25 MW/50 MWh Tesla battery collocated with the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm in the state of Victoria. It also operates across Europe.

In addition to commissioning PV parks in the United Kingdom, Hive Energy is also working on subsidy free projects in the country; in addition to working in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.

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