Hive Energy are delighted with the decision from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Alok Sharma to grant consent for the UKs largest solar scheme – Cleve Hill Solar Park, which is a joint venture project between Hive Energy Ltd. and Wirsol Energy Ltd.
The decision comes at an important time with the UK becoming the first major economy to pass law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The Cleve Hill Solar Park will generate up to 350MW of clean renewable electricity to power over 91,000 homes, reducing the UKs dependence on fossil fuels and lowering CO2 emissions by 68,000 tonnes a year. The project won’t require any Government subsidies and aims to be one of the lowest cost generators of electricity in the UK.
This is no ordinary solar park. The Cleve Hill Solar Park, located on the north Kent coast one mile from Faversham and less than 60 miles from central London, is a pioneering scheme which will deliver significant benefits to the low carbon economy and environment. Hive Energy has combined their expertise in developing solar parks with Wirsol’s engineering capabilities to deliver an exemplar solar scheme which demonstrates low carbon technological ingenuity.
Giles Redpath, CEO of Hive Energy said:
“At Hive Energy, our mission is to create transformational change to deliver a cleaner future for all. Our belief is that renewable energy generation is the most important thing that is going to happen to our planet over the next 50 years. Solar energy is unique. It has the power to transform the world.
Since 2017, we have worked alongside stakeholders and the community to listen to their feedback and to design a solar park that benefits the local environment whilst delivering a significant amount of renewable, affordable and secure energy generation.
We are proud to lead the way, together with our partners at Wirsol, to deliver the UKs largest solar park. Due to be operational by 2022, the Cleve Hill Solar Park offers a real solution to our urgent climate needs and showcases the potential for the UK to lead the green recovery.”
Technical ingenuity of Cleve Hill Solar Park
The joint venture took the decision to pioneer the use of an east west panel orientation in the UK for the Cleve Hill Solar Park, which will be able to generate 44% more electricity generation than the same site with south-orientated panels.
Hive Energy also believes that solar and storage are at the heart of a smarter energy system. The UK is currently lagging behind other countries in its battery storage capabilities. New storage technologies reduce the problem of meeting peaks in demand, and dampen wholesale price volatility, back up solar and wind intermittency, and open up the prospect of the electrification of transport.
Together with their partner Wirsol Ltd., Hive has worked to develop the project’s energy storage proposals.
A boost to the low carbon economy
Creating green jobs and scaling renewable energy schemes are some of the measures the Government are prioritising as part of the nation’s green recovery. The £450 million Cleve Hill Solar Park will create direct and indirect permanent jobs, contributing to the £12 billion low carbon electricity sector which supports 47,000 jobs with more in supply chains. Hive Energy is committed to growing the low carbon economy and delivering local economic benefits including jobs and contract opportunities.
From the outset, the joint venture partners have recognised the importance of working with local stakeholders and have collaborated with local groups and nature conservation bodies to deliver significant local environmental benefits in the design of the scheme, including:
- a dedicated landscape and biodiversity management plan which will achieve a 65% increase in biodiversity net gain on site through plans including an open meadow area, likely to be one of the largest areas of meadow in south-east England;
- 56ha of specially managed habitat being set aside for overwintering birds, which has been designed in consultation with RSPB, Natural England and Kent Wildlife Trust;
- agreement with the Environment Agency to align with its managed realignment programme to return the site to marshland in the future.
Building on its UK experience, Hive has opened overseas offices and is currently developing a pipeline of projects across Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Hive is committed to taking the knowledge and expertise built up in the UK to develop low cost large scale solar across the world.
More information about the Cleve Hill Solar Park can be found on the project website: www.clevehillsolar.com