Cadent launches Norfolk solar farm to power its own sites

Cadent launches Norfolk solar farm to power its own sites

Gas distribution network Cadent is generating renewable electricity with its first solar farm, sited on one of its installations in Brisley, north Norfolk.

Electricity generated by the solar farm, which comprises 388 photovoltaic panels, will offset Cadent's power requirements at the site and nine other above ground gas installations in the area.

Power generated for the network on top of that will raise additional revenue for the business.   

The panels have a peak generation capacity of 130 kW, with the site generating an estimated 120megawatt (MW) hours a year.

Each panel has an operational lifespan of 25 years and has been installed with power optimisers which keep the array generating as efficiently as possible, and enable any problems with a panel to be swiftly identified.

The idea for the solar farm originated with Cadent network supervisor Robert Davies, who developed  the idea with his team, which operate and maintain Cadent's gas infrastructure in the local area.

He explained: "The concept was relatively straightforward with clear cut environmental and economic benefits. It took us around a year to plan and agree the project and we were then able to get it built over just a few weeks this autumn."

Cadent backed the project and helped it to secure £160,000 in funding.

Cadent eastern network director Darren Elsom said: "As a company Cadent is committed to being innovative, efficient and to making a positive contribution to the environment.

"This project is a textbook example of how we can do all of those things and achieve a great result."

With the Brisley solar array already proving  a success, similar projects at other Cadent sites could follow in the near future.

Solar power generation in the UK now regularly generates between a fifth and a quarter of the UK's energy demand.




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