Cheers! Scotland’s biggest solar energy farm set to begin generating renewable electricity by Hogmanay

SUNSHINE ON ARBROATH: Robert Morgan, (British Solar Renewables, left) and Ron Shanks of BWE Partnership
SUNSHINE ON ARBROATH: Robert Morgan, (British Solar Renewables, left) and Ron Shanks of BWE Partnership

BWE Partnership and British Solar Renewables (BSR) have begun construction work on Scotland’s largest solar park project, New Mains of Guynd, following a £10 million investment.

The 9.5MW, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) park located at Carmyllie, near Arbroath, will be constructed in two operational phases, with final completion expected by June 2016.

In what is currently a rare ray of economic sunshine for the UK solar industry, the first 5MW phase will be completed and producing power by the end of December 2015, with the second phase due to be completed by summer 2016.

Ron Shanks, owner of BWE Partnership, said: “Planning permission was granted for the 50 acre site in October last year and construction is now well underway.

“We are delighted to have formed a strong team with British Solar Renewables to get this project in the ground and operational. It is a team that I am confident will deliver further ground-mounted solar PV projects in Scotland.”

BSR is taking the lead as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and acting as the development manager, as well as our independent connection provider, through its subsidiary Renewable Energy Connections.

Shanks added: “At a time when proposed changes to solar subsidies throughout the UK are having a significant impact on future projects, I am extremely proud that BWE Partnership is one of the few companies in the market not only seeking development opportunities, but actually executing these projects from concept to completion.

“Whilst the changes to government subsidies have caused uncertainty around future solar projects, we expect the position to become much clearer early 2016.”

Commenting on behalf of British Solar Renewables, David Peill, Commercial Director said: “The construction and development of Scotland’s largest commercial-scale solar park is a fantastic project to be involved with and we are delighted to be part of the team making the development a reality.

“It is extremely important to us to work with companies in the area and we are utilising a supply chain comprising several local businesses which are able to provide the high quality materials and services required.”

BWE Partnership is wholly owned and operated by Ron Shanks from his base in Aberdeen. He has been an architect for over 30 years and began working in the renewable energy industry in 2002.

Since that time, he has been involved as a shareholder, director, investor, development manager and designer in several successful on-shore wind energy projects in Scotland.

Currently he has an interest in six on-shore wind schemes at various stages in the long process to gain the consents and permissions to make them happen.

Meanwhile, BWE Partnership continues to seek sites for large solar energy developments in the east of Scotland with particular interest in locations in Angus, Aberdeenshire and Fife.

Other areas of Scotland could also be of interest provided they have suitable levels of irradiation and grid availability.

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