The UK’s second subsidy-free solar farm, and the first by a local authority using battery storage, has been completed by West Sussex County Council in a project that ticked “every box” and will generate significant income over the next 25 years.

The Westhampnett project combines 7.4MW of solar, comprised of panels from Hanwha Q Cells, with a 4.4MW/4.06MWh battery storage unit from Tesvolt on a closed 35 acre landfill site close to a local grid connection and owned by the council, offering low land costs for the project.

large solar farm in England producing electricity-1
It is the second solar farm to be completed by West Sussex Council following the 5MW Tangmere project, which began operation in October 2015. However, where that site is supported by legacy subsidy payments, Westhampnett has been built purely on the back of an unsubsidised business case.

Generation from the solar farm will be repurchased from Your Energy Sussex, a council-backed energy supplier set up in 2014, to power the local authority’s operations, while some will also be used to charge the battery.

This will be combined with grid power purchased during periods of low pricing to be sold back at times of demand under an arbitrage model. The battery will also be used to provide Triad avoidance and deliver capacity market contracts, while a demand side response agreement has also been secured with nPower which will use the battery to access the grid services market.

Read more: Solar Power Portal