14 January 2014

The new investor in the 10MW Sevor Farm Solar, near South Marston has been named as Eneco – a Dutch sustainable energy company that has been operating in the UK renewables market since 2008.

Eneco will work alongside the solar farm’s developer, AEE Renewables to complete the construction phase of the project which will be operational early next year. Once complete, the project’s output will be used to contribute to the energy needs of the nearby Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) Plant adjacent to the solar farm site. The solar farm will provide around 64 per cent of the annual energy requirement of HUM’s Engine Plant.

An HUM spokesperson said that they were delighted to be working with Eneco and AEE Renewables on this project, which will become part of the embedded renewable energy strategy for their manufacturing operation in Swindon.

Eneco along with AEE Renewables will also continue to work closely to deliver on the community commitments attached to the project including funding for a speed reduction zone (20mph) in South Marston village, flood mitigation works and footpath improvements to encourage walking and cycling around the site of the solar farm itself.

The acquisition of Sevor Farm Solar represents a first of its kind for Eneco in the UK which has to date focused on wind generating assets. The step into solar energy investment mirrors the strategy taken by Eneco in the Dutch and Belgian markets to diversify and widen its renewable asset base. Sevor Farm Solar joins the company’s 36MW solar project portfolio that spans The Netherlands, France and Belgium.

Eneco already has a significant renewable asset base in the UK including 111MW of onshore wind in operation and construction, and a larger development pipeline. Eneco is also a 50:50 development partner in the Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Project, near to the Isle of Wight, part of the Round 3 Offshore Wind Programme.

Guy Madgwick, Director, Eneco UK said: ‘We are very much looking forward to working with the community, HUM and AEE Renewables to realise what will be Eneco’s first solar project in the UK. Sevor Farm Solar also represents localised self-supply of a large manufacturing business - something that is central to Eneco’s decentralised and sustainable energy strategy.”

Frans van de Noort, Director, Eneco Solar said: “It is good to see Eneco Solar take its first step into the UK market, we look forward to reciprocating the successes of our projects across The Netherlands, France and Belgium. By doing so we make sustainable energy further accessible for all.”