Bristol PV solar array first to connect directly to National Grid

A 200-acre solar farm near Bristol has become the first to connect directly to the National Grid.

The colossal pv solar and battery storage system at Larks Green Farm was switched on to the transmission network last week.

It is being heralded as a game-changer for renewable energy potentially powering electricity across the UK. 

Until now, larger-scale systems have been connected to lower-voltage regional grids.

The 50MW system with more than 152,400 solar modules is hooked up to the National Grid’s Iron Acton substation.

It’s expected to generate a staggering 73,000MWh per year, which is enough to provide electricity to 17,300 properties.

Larks Green will also help the environment by displacing over 20,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Experts have hailed the new system going live and believe solar farms and other commercial developments are key to developing fully decarbonised power generation.

The UK government has set out ambitious plans to increase solar panel generation to 70 GW by 2035.

National Grid director, Roisin Quinn, believes solar power has a “critical role” in the switch to clean energy during the next decade.

The milestone switch-on comes after new data showed that residential solar panel installs surged to a seven-year high in early 2023.

As the benefits of cleaner, cheaper and more secure solar energy become more apparent, investment is likely to soar.

The National Grid is already planning to spend around £9bn by 2026 on upgrades and adaptions to its transmission network as part of its clean energy initiative.

The pv solar array in the picturesque fields of Thornbury and Yate north of Bristol could be one of many farms and larger projects that power the UK’s electricity in the future.

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