RWE Renewables Europe & Australia GmbH

RWE starts construction of its first UK solar farms

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  • RWE starts the construction of seven new UK solar and co-located battery projects
  • New sites will have a combined installed capacity of 330MW of solar power with 45MW of co-located battery storage (BESS)
  • Contracts placed with two UK based companies have paved the way for construction start; solar power plays an increasingly key role in the UK’s clean energy infrastructure.

Swindon, 13 March 2024

RWE has taken a major step towards the realisation of its first solar farms in the UK, with seven projects, representing 330 megawatts (MW) of new, clean electricity capacity, now entering construction.

The projects are the first to be constructed from the solar portfolio secured by RWE through its acquisition of JBM Solar, one of the UK’s largest independent solar and co-located battery developers. The acquisition of around 3.8 gigawatts (GW) capacity of solar and 2.3 GW of battery development projects positioned RWE as one of the UK’s largest solar developers, and was a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to its continued investment in UK clean energies.

Mobilisation is now underway at the sites, unlocking significant investment in new green infrastructure, alongside biodiversity net gains and local community benefits. The projects, all of which have already successfully secured Contracts for Difference, are being constructed to facilitate the future co-location of battery storage (BESS) where this is not already being installed, in order to maximise best use of the Grid.

Katja Wünschel, CEO RWE Renewables Europe & Australia: “The deployment of these seven new projects represents a significant milestone for RWE as we grow and diversify our clean energy portfolio through solar and battery power, in one of our most strategically important markets.  Quick to deploy and using the most modern solar technologies, we aim to maximise the generation potential of these sites for the UK; with a national target to increase solar capacity five-fold by 2035 and similar for battery storage, our projects will play a key role in helping ensure the UK decarbonises its power grid and achieves its challenging net zero targets.”

The first of the seven sites is due to become fully operational by the end of 2024, with the remainder to follow shortly after. Once fully operational, the sites will be capable of meeting the average annual electricity needs of over 140,000 typical UK homes, reducing UK carbon emissions by an estimated 8 million tonnes during their lifetime. Working closely with local parishes, RWE’s projects will also contribute a total of £645,000 in community benefits to the neighbouring area directly supporting local projects, as well as supporting local jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

RWE aims to commission on average 450MW of new UK solar capacity per year up to 2030 in support of the UK’s ambitions for 70GW of solar capacity by 2035. Globally, RWE plans to increase its installed solar capacity from 3.9 GW to 16 GW by 2030.

In preparation for the construction works, RWE has awarded major construction contracts to two UK-based contractors, Ethical Power and also Equans UK & Ireland, under its new brand Equans Solar & Storage. They will provide a comprehensive range of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services to seven of RWE’s solar farm projects located across England, from north Devon to Lincolnshire.

Tom Kneen, CEO and Founder of Ethical Power: “We are proud to have been selected by RWE for this market-leading development where we’ll be able to showcase the full scope of our capabilities. Together with RWE, we will continue to drive the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy systems realising the immense potential of clean energy. We’re at the cutting edge of technological development. Providing optimum performance and the highest quality of service is of paramount importance to us. Working on the DC coupled battery storage with RWE affords us the opportunity to do this again at scale. We’ll use the depth of knowledge and experience within our teams to help bring new ideas and technology to the UK market.”

Gregory Allouis, Energy Solutions Director for Equans UK & Ireland: “We are very pleased to support RWE in the delivery of their UK ambitions through leveraging our expertise in energy engineering innovation in the solar market.  Across multiple projects, we will deploy diverse and state-of-the-art technologies that will provide the UK economy with clean energy produced locally. Furthermore, our works will benefit local communities and create jobs. There is no time to waste to fight global warming and, as engineers, it is our duty to play our part now. By working in partnership with RWE, we can together accelerate the path to Net Zero.”

The seven RWE projects represent a total of 330MW solar & 45 MW BESS installed capacity.

  • Langford - 35MW solar + 35MW BESS.
  • Claydon - 45MW solar +10MW BESS
  • Cotmoor – 50MW
  • Moreton Lane - 50MW
  • Doverdale – 50MW
  • Stoneshollow - 50MW
  • Ashorne - 50MW

For more information about RWE’s UK solar portfolio, visit our website.

Standard images of solar projects for media use (credit: RWE) are available at the RWE Media Centre.

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