Dutch firm invests in South Marston solar farm plan
1:47pm Wednesday 8th January 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
ENECO, the new investor in the solar farm near South Marston, has never before worked on solar energy projects in the UK.
The Dutch sustainable energy company has been operating in the UK renewable market since 2008, but has yet to dip its toe into the solar field.
The Sevor Farm project was given planning permission last June and work on the site began last month.
Eneco will work alongside the solar farm’s developer AEE Renewables to complete the construction phase of the project, which will be operational this year.
Once complete, the project’s output will be used to contribute to the energy needs of the nearby Honda Manufacturing Plant.
The solar farm will provide 64 per cent of Honda’s annual energy requirement.
The step into solar energy investment mirrors the strategy taken by Eneco in the Dutch and Belgian markets to diversify and widen its renewable asset base.
Sevor Farm Solar joins the company’s 36mw solar project portfolio that spans The Netherlands, France and Belgium.
Eneco UK director Guy Madgwick said: “We are very much looking forward to working with the community, Honda and AEE Renewables to realise what will be Eneco’s first solar project in the UK.
“Sevor Farm Solar also represents localised self-supply of a large manufacturing business –something central to Eneco’s decentralised and sustainable energy strategy.”
Frans van de Noort, the director at Eneco Solar, said: “It is good to see Eneco Solar take its first step into the UK market, we look forward to reciprocating the successes of our projects across The Netherlands, France and Belgium.
“By doing so we make sustainable energy further accessible for all.”
Eneco, along with AEE Renewables, will also continue to work on the community commitments attached to the project, including funding for a speed reduction zone in South Marston village, flood mitigation work and footpath improvements to encourage walking and cycling around the site of the solar farm.
Eneco already has a significant renewable asset base in the UK including 111mw of onshore wind in operation and construction, and a larger development pipeline. Eneco is also a 50:50 development partner in the Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Project, near to the Isle of Wight.
Eneco spokeswoman Ellie Ostinelli said: “Eneco has plenty of experience across Europe and the Sevor Farm Solar joins the company’s 36MW solar project portfolio that spans The Netherlands, France and Belgium. We have every confidence in them and are looking forward to working with them in the UK.”