The largest solar power plant in the UK is to be developed without subsidy

10th November 2017 | Commercial Energy

Hive Energy, one of the biggest solar power developers in the UK, has announced its plans to develop a huge 350 megawatt (MW) solar park in Kent with zero subsidies from the UK government.

The proposed power project will be developed by Cleve Hill, a joint venture formed by Hive Energy and its partner Wirsol Energy, and it will be located on the north Kent coast.

It will constitute the UK’s largest solar farm by far, as the current biggest solar farm is 69MW in Wiltshire, able to supply electricity to 110,000 households.

The mega project will cover approximately 890 acres (365 hectares) – an area equivalent to more than 400 football pitches.

Solar Power

Battery storage is being considered for the project, as the electricity generated by a renewable energy power plant of this size will need balancing to avoid grid disruption. The idea is that falling technology costs and economies of scale from supersizing power projects will make it able to work without any subsidies from the UK government, which halted subsidies for solar projects almost two years ago.

Hugh Brennan from Hive Energy said, “The Cleve Hill solar park is a pioneering scheme that aims to optimise the technological developments in solar energy. Our ambition is to deliver the first non-subsidised renewables project of this scale, delivering low cost, clean home-grown energy to power UK households.”

The 350MW solar project is the first one to be classified as a National Significant Infrastructure Project – a power project over 50MW, and will therefore need approval from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).

The area where the power plant is to be developed has significant wildlife importance: the area’s salt marshes and mudflats are used by migrating birds.

The public consultation process has already begun, as residents have been asked for their opinion ahead of the meeting with the local community in December.

More information available on the website below