Case Study

Clayhill

The UK’s first subsidy free solar farm.
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Project results:

31,240 solar panels totalling 10MW of solar PV have been installed

5 energy storage units totalling 6MW have been co-located on the site

Clayhill generates enough to power 2,500 homes and save 4,452 tonnes of CO2

Aerial view of Clayhill Solar Farm

Project Outline:

In September 2017, with the UK Minister for Climate Change  & Industry in attendance, Anesco officially opened the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm – a landmark achievement for the country’s renewables industry.

Clayhill, located in Milton Keynes, covers an area of 44.58 acres. The whole project took just 12 weeks to complete and combines the latest in solar and energy storage technology, with 10MW of solar PV co-located with 5 energy storage units totalling 6MW.

Over 30,000 solar panels were used in the construction of Clayhill, mounted on 15,620m of frames. The site produces enough renewable energy for around 2,500 homes, while saving 4,452 tonnes of carbon annually.

While other countries, such as Italy, have already built subsidy free solar projects, the UK hadn’t found a viable model for doing so – until now. The main challenge had always been the cost involved in the construction of solar parks, but Anesco managed to overcome this by deploying new and innovative financing mechanisms to successfully develop a commercially-viable model.

Anesco’s team navigated a range of technical and commercial complexities to achieve a subsidy-free development at Clayhill, utilising strong partnerships within the supply chain and reengineering the process of design and construction.

Many design challenges were overcome by working with supply chain partners to find solutions. One such development has been the use of a 1500v string inverter system – this innovation is another Anesco first for the UK and a major step change for the industry.

The project has achieved global recognition, as well as receiving a prestigious industry award.

Finding innovative ways to bring new technologies to its customers base and to help them realise the full potential of renewables and energy efficiency projects, is something Anesco has demonstrated throughout its history and continues to achieve with projects such as this.

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