Santander UK has provided £25m funding to Voltalia subsidiary South Farm Solar, to support its construction and operation of a new PV project that will deliver more than half of the City of London Corporation’s electricity. South Farm is a 49.9MW ground-mounted solar farm near Spetisbury, Dorset that has been developed, constructed, operated and maintained by Voltalia. On site grid connection has been secured with Southern Electric Power Distribution with an export capacity of 40MW, connecting to an existing tower with 132kV overhead line. The South Farm site is now complete having achieved grid connection certification in December 2022, and it began providing the City Corporation with electricity in January, powering iconic London landmarks such as Tower Bridge, Hampstead Heath, the Barbican Centre and its historic Guildhall headquarters. South Farm represents Santander UK’s further support of renewable energy generation assets that do not rely on Government subsidies. The bank’s funding package also provides South Farm Solar Ltd with Consumer Price Index (CPI) hedging, giving it more certainty over the amount of revenue the solar farm will generate over the next 15 years, according to the lender. 100% of the power generated by South Farm has been purchased by the City Corporation, which has a 15-year PPA with South Farm Solar Ltd.
The deal is part of the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which commits it to reaching net zero in its own operations by 2027, and in its investments and supply chain by 2040. It is also supporting the achievement of net zero for the whole Square Mile, one of London’s financial districts, by the same year. Voltalia has undertaken 23 new renewable energy facility projects with a combined capacity of 193MW in the UK. South Farm is its largest solar energy facility to date and is located near its other solar photovoltaics farms at Clifton Farm, near Yeovil, and Higher Stockbridge. UK country manager at Voltalia Simon Holt said: “Through our work with Santander UK in funding the South Farm project we have been able to fully realise a brand new, substantial green energy project at South Farm, Dorset. “We expect an increasing number of companies and organisations in the UK to be switching to cleaner, sustainable, renewable energy supplies and we will continue to deliver a net-zero power purchase solution as our portfolio grows. “The UK has the capacity, enthusiasm and the sunshine to deliver many more of these projects in the coming decades and we hope that projects like South Farm add to the bankability and confidence in UK renewables.”
Credits: renews.biz [Image: Santander UK]