A new solar far has been opened on a former brownfield site in the Vale of Glamorgan. The 20 acre solar farm was launched by the local MP Alun Cairns and it was built by British Gas for use by Associated British Ports.
Work began on the site in March 2015; the installation of 15,000 solar panels were completed shortly afterwards.
Commenting on the opening of the new site, MP Alun Cairns said:
"The new solar farm on Barry Docks is a fantastic example of maximising the use of industrial space, in a very impressive scheme. The energy partnership between ABP and British Gas will allow Barry Dock to become more competitive in the industry, and the project in the Vale of Glamorgan could become an exciting model for other docks and ports around Great Britain.”
The opening of the new farm is predicted to produce approximately 4.5 megawatts of green power annually for use by ABP’s port operations. The energy that is produced will also be used by 75 tenants of ABP, and surplus energy is to be sold back to the National Grid.
The new solar farm is set to lead to a significant reduction in the CO2 emissions, reducing them by 2,000 tonnes annually.
Representatives from both ABP and British Gas were at the site for the opening, and it has recently been announced that the site has already been nominated for the Wales Green Energy award.
At the launch, Chris Morrison of British Gas reaffirmed the company’s commitment to greener energy and reducing the impact of carbon stating: stating:
“This solar farm will generate a significant contribution towards that goal.”
Solar power in the UK
The drive towards green power has been welcomed by environmental campaign charities. There are now more than 400 wind farms in the UK and the growth has increased rapidly in recent years. A Press Association report featured in the Guardian shows that there are now 650,000 solar installations being used in the UK.
However, there has been some concern over the government’s on-going commitment to green energy after it was announced by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Amber Rudd, in July that the Government was to reduce its renewable energy subsidies. The decision to cut green energy subsidies was made amid concerns that they were on course to be higher than had been previously predicted.