A new 38 hectare (94 acre) solar farm in North Somerset has been acquired by Kent County Council (KCC) and LASER Energy, massively reducing carbon emissions whilst saving energy costs for KCC.
The Bowerhouse II Solar Farm, which has recently been built by Ethical Power Ltd, has the capacity to have 39,312 solar panels and will provide 22,000 megawatt hours of green electricity to the grid a year.
LASER Energy managed the acquisition on KCC’s behalf, using £14.415 million from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
Ethical Power Ltd has been appointed to run the operations and maintenance contract for the solar farm.
LASER Energy will continue to be responsible for the ongoing running of the facility, including managing contractors, energy trading, monetary flows and carbon management and reporting.
Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates, which provide transparency to consumers on the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources, will show this purchase contributes to about 30% of KCC’s Net Zero carbon reduction target.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey, said: “This new solar farm will reduce our carbon footprint by 30% and make significant savings on our electricity costs for years to come.”
KCC and LASER Energy were supported through the acquisition by legal advisers Burges Salmon, Carter Jonas for commercial information and LHW Associates which looked after the technical aspects of the purchase.
LASER’s Director of Energy, Nigel Hartnup, said: “I’m very proud of the role LASER and Commercial Services Group played in supporting KCC through this acquisition and we are looking forward to helping KCC with the ongoing management of the solar farm.
“This experience has enabled LASER to establish key supply chain routes which we hope to use again in the future to assist other public sector bodies to achieve their decarbonisation goals.”
Stuart Whiteford, Director at Ethical Power Ltd, added: “We are delighted to have worked with KCC and LASER in realising this project with the ultimate aim of contributing towards KCC’s aspiration of achieving a Net Zero status.
“I would like to thank everybody involved in the delivery of the project, which is the culmination of several years’ hard work. It is an example of what can be achieved via close collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve ambitious carbon reduction targets. We look forward to working together in the future.”
For more information, contact Ellis Stephenson – firstname.lastname@example.org – in the KCC press office
Notes to editors
Established by Kent County Council in 1989 with a vision to help the public sector achieve the energy cost reductions made possible by newly deregulated gas and electricity markets. Today LASER Energy has grown significantly and delivers a broad range of energy and carbon reduction services across the public sector. Now one of the largest energy buying organisations in Europe, purchasing over £500m of energy per annum and serving over 200 public sector customers. LASER’s team of experts are helping our customers set and deliver their carbon reduction strategies.
Bowerhouse solar farm is the first solar farm acquisition for KCC. The council will soon undertake the construction of a Solar Park within the county, which will further reduce KCC’s carbon emissions.
For more information on LASER please visit – www.laserenergy.org.uk