Local authority West Sussex County Council has commissioned the 7.4 MW Westhampnett Solar Farm, co-located with a 4.4 MW lithium-ion battery. The project was built without government subsidy, according to the council, and is expected to deliver significant income over its 25-year lifetime.
German battery manufacturer Tesvolt today announced the completion of a 7.4 MW PV power plant and 4.4 MW battery installation. The system was commissioned by West Sussex County Council in mid-October; and has now successfully completed its testing phase.
As with the first subsidy free solar project in the UK, developed by Anesco, additional income brought in by the co-located battery is key to the business model: “Thanks to the high-voltage storage system, the local government earns additional money with grid services,” explains German manufacturer Tesvolt, which supplied the battery system. “Power generated at the solar farm will be sold on the electricity wholesale market. The batteries will generate additional income from price arbitrage, frequency services and triad management/ capacity market income.”
Westhampnett Solar Farm is built on a disused landfill site, and is expected to provide enough power for more than 2,000 homes for the next 25 years. “it makes absolute sense for us to use our natural resources and to generate clean energy that can be fed in to the local electricity grid,” said County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith. “As one of the first solar farms to be built with battery storage and free from government subsidy, we are blazing a trail among local authorities and demonstrating that councils have a role to play as local leaders on energy.”
While solar installations in the UK have largely ground to a halt since the government ended subsidies, a few business models have shown the ability to go subsidy free – particularly by leveraging the additional grid services a battery can provide.
pv magazine’s Max Hall is live blogging this afternoon from the annual energy and business conference in London, where he is tracking down the latest developments in UK energy policy.
Solar Panels are merit goods that brings positive externalities when consumed and experience under allocation. It is a sustainable replacement for fuel. Fuel can cause air pollution. Therefore, Solar panels’ social benefit is higher than private benefit. When subsidies are provided, firms are able to produce more solar panels and sell them at a lower price. More people will then purchase the solar panels. This will increase the the external benefit created.