Lark Energy's Wymeswold Project Wins Solar Award
- Published: Friday, 18 October 2013 08:02
The UK’s largest solar farm has won the inaugural Solar Power Portal award for Most Successful Large-scale Ground Mount Solar Site.
Wymeswold Airfield was developed by Lark Energy and the landowner Prestwold Estates, and was funded and is owned by Hazel Capital.
Consisting of some 130,000 solar panels positioned on land between the old runways, and covering an area of 150 acres, the project was built in less than 8 weeks in extremely difficult weather conditions and was connected and commissioned before changes in ROCs took place at the end of March 2013.
The judges for the award, presented at a prestigious dinner for over 200 industry representatives, felt the project was managed and delivered against a “very difficult” political background, yet the team involved achieved what is still the largest solar farm project in the country. In particular the judges were taken with the site selection, a “perfect location” on low-grade agricultural land which encountered no objections from the locals. All in all, an outstanding achievement for the large-scale solar sector.
Lark Energy developed the site and worked closely with the Prestwold Estate, Charnwood Borough Council, the local parish councils and the local community in developing its plans and received planning permission at a council planning committee on 8th November 2012.
Hazel Capital financed the construction of the £35 million project and S.A.G. Solarstrom oversaw the construction which was led by Solibra working with Lark Energy, Modus Utilities and Prestwold Farm and its local contractors. Western Power Distribution, the distribution network operator, was instrumental in enabling the project to be connected to the electricity network.
Jonathan Selwyn, Managing Director of Lark Energy, commented “We are delighted to be presented with this prestigious prize on behalf of all the project partners. We were privileged to work with a tremendous set of partners in delivering this unique project. The project faced some significant challenges, both technical and weather related. It is a testament to the teamwork of the various parties involved in its development and delivery that it was completed and connected on time."
Edward Packe-Drury-Lowe, estate manager says, “It has been a pleasure working with the team at Lark Energy to develop the site. Prestwold Farms and other local contractors were pleased to help enable the delivery of the project on time and were assisted ably by our land agents Mather Jamie. The solar park will add another diversification to the Prestwold Estate with energy joining food production and leisure”.