The UK’s First Solar Powered Major Waste Treatment Plant

Lightsource Renewable Energy, the UK’s leading utility scale solar plant developer, owner and asset operator, has, together with Solarcentury, the UK’s most experienced solar photovoltaic (PV) installer, completed a 5MW utility scale solar plant close to the village of Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire. The solar plant will provide enough ‘green’ electricity during daylight hours to power over 70% of AmeyCespa’s Mechanical Biological Treatment plant in Waterbeach, providing a sustainable, local energy solution.

This 20,000 panel solar park will generate up to 4,552MWh annually. This is sufficient energy to power the equivalent of over 1,200 homes continuously without any noise or pollution.

Rather than the plant being connected to export into the grid, there has been significant engineering work to provide 3km of cabling from the plant running directly to local waste management company AmeyCespa. Unlike most utility scale ground mounted solar plants in the UK, this solar plant prioritises the use of electricity by AmeyCespa’s facilities first, with minimal excess energy being fed back into the national grid.

Lightsource supplies this ‘green’ energy to the waste management company through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 25 years. This method of energy supply significantly benefits high electricity users like AmeyCespa, not only by cutting electricity costs, but also providing better control and predictability on budget forecasting.

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