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Anesco Opens Subsidy Free Solar Farm With Battery Storage

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Renewable energy developer Anesco has officially opened a colocated solar and battery storage plant in Bedfordshire.

Anesco's Clayhill solar farm and energy storage facility officially became the UK's first subsidy-free solar farm and the first time Huawei has deployed its ground-breaking 55 KTL 1500 Vdc/800Vac inverters in Europe. Solar capacity is 10MW at the Clayhill site, with 6MW of battery capacity and the company says it is the first solar farm in the UK to operate without a subsidy.

While investors remain keen on acquiring solar farms with guaranteed incomes, support schemes are now closed. But there are still viable projects, particularly colocated with storage, according to Anesco. The firm plans to bid power generated by the Clayhill development into the T-4 capacity market, which, if successful, would generate additional support payments. The battery will also be used to provide frequency response services and is part of a storage pipeline of some 185MW that Anesco plans to complete by the end of 2018. The company already operates around 480MW of solar from over 100 farms.

"Clayhill is a landmark development and paves the way for a sustainable future, where subsidies are no longer needed or relied upon. Importantly, it proves that the Government's decision to withdraw subsidies doesn't have to signal the end of solar as a commercially viable technology," said Anesco executive chairman Steve Shine.

"By deciding to colocate the 6MW battery storage unit and by working closely with our supply chain partners, we have been able to achieve a subsidy-free development."

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chair of Huawei UK: "Huawei is proud to have worked with Anesco for this landmark UK solar industry development. Significant technological advances, underpinned by industry collaboration have helped deliver the first subsidy-free solar farm in the UK and Huawei's smart PV solution has played a critical role in the successful delivery of this initiative," Lord Browne of Madingley, Chair of Huawei UK, commented.

"This project is evidence of how solar is not only one of the most competitive renewables, but is now able to compete with all forms of generation. Huawei is very pleased to have played a role in delivering Clayhill Solar Park."

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