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10 April 2023 Comments (0) Environment, Other, Real Estate, Technology

Iconic London sites powered by a Dorset solar farm

This electricity supply contract is the first of its kind to be signed directly between a renewable energy producer and a governing authority in the UK. The 15-year contract will help the UK capital to reduce its energy budget and achieve its ‘net zero’ target.

The City of London Corporation is dedicated to “a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK”. Among other things, it manages the Square Mile global financial centre (the City) in the UK capital.

The City of London Corporation is a major provider of public services in London, managing schools, social housing, open spaces, and wholesale markets throughout the capital. It is also the governing body of various iconic London landmarks, such as Tower Bridge, Hampstead Heath and the Barbican Centre.

  • London Tower Bridge
    London Tower Bridge
  • The Barbican
    The Barbican
  • London Tower Bridge
    London Tower Bridge

An international energy supplier

Now, thanks to an agreement between the City Corporation and international energy supplier Voltalia, all these sites will be supplied with renewable electricity from the new solar farm at South Farm in Dorset. With more than 91,000 panels, the site will have a capacity of 49.9 megawatts, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 35,000 people.

The contract, signed in 2020 for £40 million, will see London buy all the output from the solar farm for 15 years. The facility has just been completed and will supply more than half of the City Corporation’s electricity from 1 January 2023. 

Zero target

The project is part of the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which commits to achieving net zero emissions by 2027 for its own operations, and for its investments and supply chain by 2040. The organisation said it was investing £68 million to meet these targets.
The City Corporation says it will help reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and save over £3 million in energy costs per year. Some £800,000 was invested in businesses within 25 miles of the project, supporting local businesses.
This project should set an example for local authorities across the UK. It reduces carbon emissions and provides cheaper, more secure energy that is protected from volatile energy market prices“, said Keith Bottomley, Chair of the City Corporation’s Environment Committee.

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