Larks Green Solar Farm made history in early May 2023 by becoming the first solar farm project in the UK to directly supply electricity to the transmission network. With its connection to the 400kV Iron Acton substation through a colossal 140MVA transformer provided by Wilson Power Solutions, the project successfully energised over 150,000 solar modules, generating an impressive 73,000MWh annually.
Spanning over 106 hectares, the Bristol based 49.9MWp Solar Photovoltaics farm is co-located with a 45.5MW/99MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to maximise the sites efficiency. The inclusion of this BESS allows the site to store excess energy during peak generation times and redistribute it when demand is high. As a result, the project estimates that it will be able to power approximately 17,300 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by displacing 20,500 tonnes, marking a substantial step towards the UK’s goal of securing its energy future and meeting decarbonisation targets by 2035.
Wilson Power Solutions played a pivotal role in the pioneering project by supplying a Continuous Maximum Rating 140/110MVA 132/33-33kV power transformer, accompanied by a 300kVA 33kV/415V auxiliary transformer. The skilled site team handled the installation process of the near 150 tonne transformer and the auxiliary transformer, which involved fitting the cooling bank, fans, conservator, and bushings, filling the transformer with coolant and undertaking marshalling, cabling and testing over the course of a few weeks to ensure a successful implementation.
Upon completion of the installation, Managing Director of Wilson Power Solutions, Erika Hudson commented: “We’re delighted to have been involved in this milestone project. Renewables and BESS connecting directly to the transmission network represents a significant development in the modernisation our electrical grid. Here at Wilson Power Solutions, our capacity to produce quality, reliable, custom specified transformers means we’ll be there to support our partners in future necessary steps towards decarbonisation.”
The Larks Green project not only aligns with the government’s recent Power Up Britain report, which reiterates its ambitious goal of a five-fold increase in solar generation by 2035, but also emphasises a strong focus on local environmental conservation. The site is expected to achieve a notable 25% biodiversity net gain by establishing additional woodland area, enhancing 9.9km of hedgerow and allocating 9 hectares for new wildflower planting.
The project was developed by Enos Energy & Cero Generation and a time-lapse video of the installation process is available here.