Work commences on West Sussex solar farm

Work commences on West Sussex solar farm

1,500 homes to benefit from low carbon energy

Work has now commenced on site for the new 4.85MWp Solar Farm on Tangmere Airfield, West Sussex. Occupying 25 acres of council owned land, it is expected to be fully operational by October, providing enough clean energy to power more than 1,500 local homes.

The solar farm is the first of its kind to be delivered by Your Energy Sussex and Carillion, and marks the start of a large-scale programmethat will include further solar farm developments and solar installations on business premises and social housing to provide low-cost, low-carbon electricity to tenants.

Stephen Hodgson, project director at Carillion comments: “This is an exciting time for our partnership with Your Energy Sussex. We have spent the last few months ensuring the ground is clear of unexploded ordnance as this site was previously an active wartime airfield. We are now working closely with our partner Solarcentury who are leading on the construction of the project and have extensive experience delivering solar projects for councils, community energy groups and private businesses”.

Construction commenced on site this week, and the project will take around three months to build and connect to the local grid. During this time Solarcentury will be planting 300m of trees and hedgerows to infill existing hedges; this will ensure the site is well screened and therefore that it is aesthetically pleasing for local residents. Work has also taken place on site to create habitats for native species.

The electricity generated will be sold to the National Grid, earning more than £13 million through feed-in tariffs over 20 years. The project will cost £5.2 million to build and pay for itself in less than ten years. Planning permission has been granted for 25 years, which will allow the site to return to its previous state if it is no longer needed as a solar farm.
West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “The new solar farm will reduce our carbon footprint and benefit the local community because the income generated will be used to fund energy efficiency schemes in the local community. This is especially helpful to the low income and vulnerable residents that may be at risk of fuel poverty.”

The site is positioned on land that is unused and unsuitable for agriculture and work has been carried out to improve habitats for native species. Sheep will also graze between the solar panels to help maintain the site on completion.

Notes to editors
In November 2020 Solarcentury joined forces with Statkraft – read the press release here

About Solarcentury: Established in 1998, Solarcentury is a leading global solar power company that develops, constructs, owns and operates utility-scale solar and smart technology. Solarcentury is known internationally for developing and building some of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Kenya and Mexico, including pioneering projects such as the world’s first solar bridge at Blackfriars Station in Central London.
Solarcentury’s mission is to make a meaningful difference in the global fight against climate chaos by making solar power the dominant energy source worldwide. During Solarcentury’s 22-year history the business has helped solar power become mainstream, and our projects have generated 6 billion kWh of clean electricity, saving over 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
About Statkraft: Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations. Statkraft has 4,000 employees in 17 countries.

Solarcentury’s press office is available at