Vattenfall has received planning permission to construct a 20MW solar farm near Herne Bay in Kent.
The 20MW solar array is expected to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of up to 5,000 homes annually. Construction is expected to take around four months to complete, with building work set to begin later this year.
Dubbed Solar@Kentish Flats, this 20MW solar farm is just the latest renewable energy product in the area. It will join an existing solar farm in the area on Owl’s Hatch Road, as well as the Kentish Flats Wind Farm off the coast. That’s convenient for Vattenfall, as it will share the existing grid connection and onshore infrastructure, shortening the construction period for the new solar farm.
Vattenfall says that the solar farm will complement the wind farm offshore, as when wind output is lower in the summer, solar output increases, whereas higher levels of wind generation compensate for lower solar volumes during the winter. This allows co-located sites to offer a more reliable source of renewable energy to meet network demand in varying conditions.
Chris Angell, solar business development manager at Vattenfall, commented, “I am delighted that we have secured planning permission for our Solar@Kentish Flats project. Kent is playing a huge part in helping the UK transition to net zero. Our solar farm at Herne Bay can help to achieve this goal, along with our existing offshore wind farms at Kentish Flats and Thanet.
“We will continue to keep the local community updated on our plans as we develop a forward program for construction. I would also like to encourage any local contractors with solar specific electrical knowledge to get in touch, so that we can keep them updated on any opportunities as we progress.
“As a leading energy supplier, Vattenfall has the expertise to develop co-located wind and solar projects. Moving forward we are looking to expand our pipeline of solar projects and are keen to work in partnership with other organisations to enable us to reach the goal of becoming fossil-fuel free in a generation.”