Voltalia, an international player in renewable energy, has launched the construction of South Farm Solar, a 49.9 megawatts solar plant in the United Kingdom. The plant will supply the City of London Corporation’s buildings and services, in London's prestigious business district.
In November 2020, the City of London Corporation signed a power purchase agreement with Voltalia under which the governing body of the Square Mile will buy all the electricity produced by a new-build solar farm for 15 years.
The deal, the first of its kind in the UK to be signed directly between a renewables producer and a governing authority, will help City of London provide cheaper, sustainable and more secure electricity supply protected from the price volatility of energy markets.
The solar plant will have a total capacity of 49.9 megawatts – enough to power the equivalent of 15,000 UK homes – and will provide over half the City Corporation’s electricity needs, powering buildings including its historic Guildhall, three wholesale markets and the Barbican Arts Centre.
The solar farm located near the village of Spetisbury, Dorset is expected to be commissioned in the course of 2022. Voltalia is committed to using local suppliers wherever possible: the grid connection, the fencing and compound construction are all being carried out by contractors from the South West region of England.
Sébastien Clerc, Voltalia’s CEO, concludes: “We are very proud to support the City of London Corporation in its 2040 net carbon zero target. Our fully integrated profile enables us to provide the City of London with our expertise over the entire life cycle of the power plant from construction to power production. We look forward to supplying clean electricity to the historic Square Mile and the financial and commercial heart of the UK.”
James de Sausmarez, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Corporate Asset Sub Committee, said: “This is a pioneering scheme which we hope will lead the way for local authorities across the UK. It means they can play their part in reducing emissions without the risks of owning their own energy firms or infrastructure and without the need for Government funding. This partnership supports our ambitious Climate Action Strategy, will make the Square Mile net zero by 2040 – 10 years ahead of Government goals.”