Ham Lane is our second community solar project and consists of 3600 solar panels on 4 acres of low grade grazing land. It has a peak power of 915 kW and cost just over £1 million to construct including the development costs.
Ham Lane performing well
Our project at Ham Lane has now been fully operational since November 2015 and is generating considerably better than predicted. Up to the end of January 2017 the array has generated 1,059.5 MWh of electricity saving 556 tonnes of CO2
As you can see from the monthly chart below, apart from June 2016, which was a particularly dull month in sunshine terms, Ham Lane has performed better than predicted every month, generating more than 11% better than expected.
Ham Lane official opening ceremony
Sir Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the previous coalition government, officially opened the Ham Lane solar array on Saturday 16 July 2016.
Commenting on the opening, Sir Ed Davey said, “Working with community energy groups around the country is great, you can see that we are unlocking community entrepreneurialism, talent and opportunities in a way that couldn’t happen without local people coming together.
The fact that community groups can reinvent some of the relationships we have with the energy system, challenge some of the big corporates and spread wealth, these are just some of the extra benefits apart from the obvious lower energy bills and tackling climate change.
Solar will be cheaper than coal in the UK within a few years’ time and when you add storage to it, which is the final piece of the jigsaw, then the job will be done”.
The event was a joyous occasion attended by over 100 local business and community members. Sir Ed Davey delivered his speech alongside Jon Gething from Low Carbon Gordano, Stephen Barrett from Solarsense, and Kate Smith from Bristol Zoological Society.
Kate explained the importance of the Madagascar charity project which is being supported by Low Carbon Gordano through its community benefit fund. The project involves Solarsense travelling to Madagascar to install a range of solar arrays to help power the village and research centres aiding both the local community and research teams.
Ham Lane construction
Following the successful share offer in May and June 2015, contracts for the construction of the Ham Lane array were placed with Solarsense and work got underway in August . Fine weather allowed the construction phase to progress rapidly and by the end of October the construction phase had been completed and commissioning and testing were underway. The last item to arrive was the inverter station which was installed at the end of October.
The project has been developed by Solarsense who secured a lease on the land, negotiated a connection agreement with Western Power, and obtained planning consent.
Ham Lane solar array consists of around 3600 solar panels on some 4 acres of low grade grazing land. It will have a peak power of 915 kW and will cost just over £1 million to construct including the development costs.