The Anonymous Widower

2.2 GW Of Solar Farms To Be Installed In The UK

This document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy lists all the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4 results for the supply of zero-carbon electricity that were announced yesterday.

There were sixty-six solar power projects, that totalled up to 2.2 GW, which gives an average size of 33.3 MW.

  • Many complain that we don’t have enough sun in this country, so surely solar farms totalling up to 2.2 GW is an astonishing figure.
  • For a comparison, Hinckley Point C will supply 3.26 GW.
  • In Cleve Hill Solar Park, I wrote about the largest, which will be a 350 MW solar farm with a 700 MWh battery.
  • Sixty-one are in England, two are in Wales and surprisingly three are in Scotland, So being that far North isn’t as bad for solar power, as you might think.
  • It looks like 251.38 MW are proposed to be installed in 2023/24 and 1958.03 MW in 2024/25.

The Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In The United Kingdom, gives these numbers.

UK solar PV installed capacity at the end of 2017 was 12.8 GW, representing a 3.4% share of total electricity generation. Provisionally, as of the end of January 2019 there was 13,123 MW installed UK solar capacity across 979,983 installations. This is an increase of 323 MW in slightly more than a year. A new record peak generation from photovoltaics was set at 9.68 GW on 20 April 2020.

How many people correctly predicted that the UK would be be generating so much energy from the sun?

How Many Of These Solar Farms Will Be Co-located With Batteries Or Wind Farms?

Consider.

  • Cleve Hill Solar Park will be a 350 MW solar farm, that is co-located with a 700 MWh battery.
  • Is it significant that the battery could supply 350 MW for two hours?
  • It also connects to the grid at the same substation, that connect the London Array offshore wind farm.
  • As substations are complicated and probably expensive bits of electrical gubbins, sharing a substation is probably a good idea to save costs.

I hope that companies like wind and solar farm developers, the National Grid and Network Rail talk a lot to each other, so that efficient infrastructure is developed.

Conclusion

Over the years 2023 to 2025, we should develop these solar farms at a rate of around 0.7 GW per year.

Can we sustain that rate in the future or will we run out of land?

 

July 10, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , ,

6 Comments »

  1. BEIS have just published their latest Energy Trends https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables. The spreadsheet gives solar capacity as at end Q1 2022 as over 14GW, and generation for 2021 as over 12TWh. The commentary tab explains what this includes (though they are in the process of changing this).

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  2. Sheffield Solar provide an attempt to measure the current generation https://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/ – over 8GW atm, meeting 27.7% of current demand. Obviously, the daily total is a lot higher at this time of year than ‘in the bleak midwinter’.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  3. The EU Science Hub has some interesting maps of solar irradiance and PV potential https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/pvgis-photovoltaic-geographical-information-system/pvgis-data-download/country-and-regional-maps_en

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  4. Thanks for those!

    I suspect there’s going to be big needs for 50 MWh affordable environmentally-friendly batteries. When say one of Energy Dome, Gravitricity, Highview Power or Rheenergise strikes a deal with a wind farm, there could be an avalanche of retrofitting.

    Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022 | Reply

    • I think the real potential for solar is not large grid-connected farms, but individual buildings. I’m looking out over my neighbours’ rooftops, and not one of them has any PV. Add PV to every home and commercial building in the country, combine, as you say, with low-cost storage of some sort, and that’s a big chunk of demand met without the need for large new HVDC cables. You still to deal with winter heating, though.

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

      • Agreed! I have solar panels on my flat roof and they generate a surprising amount of electricity.

        If I drove, I’d now have an electric car with a V2G charger in my garage.

        It’s a no-brainer for low-cost motoring.

        As to heating, I’m looking at a Thermify boiler or something equally innovtive.

        Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022


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