Solar power in the UK

Growing one of the UK’s largest solar and co-located battery storage portfolios.

RWE’s experience in solar energy

RWE is a global leader in renewables, with significant experience and expertise in the development, construction and operation of innovative clean energy technologies. We are committed to developing projects that benefit the local community, the natural environment, and wildlife.

Since 2022, RWE has expanded its solar and co-located battery storage development fleet into one of the largest in the UK, and our team of experts have enabled over 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar to be consented in the UK and Ireland.

As a leading partner in the delivery of the UK’s clean energy transition and energy security, RWE is progressing a mature project pipeline with a combined capacity of around 6.7 GW, split into 4.4 GW of solar and 2.3 GW of battery storage, and aims to commission on average 450 megawatts (MW) of new solar capacity per year.

At a glance

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minimum biodiversity net gain for all our solar projects

Our UK solar portfolio

RWE has a mature development pipeline of solar projects which already have grid connections and land secured, as well as the necessary planning approvals from the relevant authorities already in place. Our first UK solar projects are due to enter construction in the early part of 2024, and could become operational by the end of the same year.

At the same time, we are continuing to grow our development portfolio. We were the most successful solar developer in the recent Contracts for Difference auctions, securing agreements for six UK solar projects. Together, these projects account for enough renewable electricity generation capacity to power thousands of UK homes, support local supply chains and jobs, and make an important contribution to the UK’s ambitions for net zero and energy security.

Why Solar?

Solar and co-located battery storage are an important part of the UK’s future energy mix, and a key component in the decarbonisation of our energy system. The UK has committed to fully decarbonise its electricity system by 2035. To support this, the Government is targeting a five-fold increase in solar capacity over the next 12 years, from 15 – 70 gigawatts (GW), and increasing battery storage capacity from 1.5 GW to 6.5 GW by 2026.

RWE UK solar portfolio

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Supply Chain benefits with solar energy

Supply Chain benefits with solar energy | RWE in the UK
Supply Chain benefits with solar energy | RWE in the UK

There are additional long standing community and societal benefits that have been provided as a result of RWE’s green developments which also include a significant boost to local and regional supply chains as well as supporting the development of high skilled, well-paid jobs.

Cutting edge renewable energy solutions

Cutting edge renewable energy solutions | RWE in the UK
Cutting edge renewable energy solutions | RWE in the UK

We take a unique approach to solar farm design, utilising single axis tracking technology and co-locating Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) wherever possible. This makes our projects even more efficient, provides additional flexibility for the wider electricity system, and enables our sites to continue providing clean renewable energy to the network even after the sun has set.

Regional commitment of RWE in the UK

Supporting Local Communities

RWE is committed to building long-term partnerships with our neighbouring communities. We have a long history of supporting local communities through funds delivered through the operation of our renewable energy projects. In the more than 20 years since our clean energy projects have been operating in the UK, we have invested over £33 million into hundreds of community-led projects across the country, helping to build strong sustainable communities for the future.

All of our community funds are managed and delivered locally, with important funding allocation decisions taken by members of the community in which our projects operate. Our community funds are flexible and designed to support what is most important to communities.

The wide and diverse range of initiatives funded through our projects make a real difference to communities. They include conservation, upgrading community facilities such as playgrounds, air source heat pumps and solar panels for community buildings, salaries for staff working with community groups, education and training grants for local people and development grants for local businesses.

We apply this experience across our entire fleet where community funds are operated, including our solar and co-located battery storage projects.

Supporting farming and the environment

Solar farms deliver far more than clean, renewable energy. They are havens for wildlife, can continue to be grazed, and provide valuable revenue streams for British farmers. This means solar farms support nature recovery, biodiversity net gain and UK food security, all from the same plot of land.

Solar farms are also a fully reversible form of development able to restore land to its former use at the end of the project’s operational lifetime. Protected species have been found to be more abundant inside solar farms, compared to land primarily used for agriculture.

RWE is committed to delivering at least 50% biodiversity net gain on all its solar projects. Our current consented solar pipeline will deliver 100% biodiversity net gain on average – 10 times the statutory requirement for new developments.

Working with landowners

Thanks to our extensive experience of developing solar projects across the UK, we have developed a close, collaborative relationship with landowners we work with to realise our projects.  We aim to ensure the best possible economic and agricultural benefits can be achieved for those landowners who host our projects, while also playing an important role in protecting the environment, securing UK energy supply, and helping deliver Net Zero.

Working with landowners | RWE in the UK

Working with the next generation

RWE has embarked on skills and education initiatives with primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities around the UK. These range from development of curriculum materials and delivery of masterclasses, to teacher training, student internships and careers programmes. Through its projects, the company has engaged with thousands of young people, encouraging STEM learning and raising awareness of the sector.

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