UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm to open

The 45 acre Clayhill solar farm and energy storage facility in Bedfordshire will be the first in the UK to be built and operated without government subsidy.

Made up of over 30,000 solar panels, the Clayhill development features five battery storage units which help maximise the usable output from renewable power sources such as solar, generating different amounts of energy depending on the weather.

The facility is capable of powering 2,500 homes and ‘paves the way for a sustainable future’. Steve Shine, executive chairman of Anesco, who built the farm, said that the milestone showed that the government’s decision to withdraw subsidies ‘doesn’t have to signal the end of solar as a commercially viable technology’.

Claire Perry, Minister for Climate Change and Industry, who will officially open the solar farm, said: “The cost of solar panels and batteries has fallen dramatically over the past few years, and this first subsidy-free development at Clayhill is a significant moment for clean energy in the UK. Solar panels already provide enough electricity to power 2.7 million homes with 99 per cent of that capacity installed since 2010. The government is determined to build on this success and our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy will ensure we continue to lead the world on the transition to a low carbon economy.”