Sir Ed Davey opens Ham Lane Solar Park
On Saturday 16th July 2016, Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Sir Ed Davey opened Bristol’s second community-owned Solar Park at Ham Lane, Kingston Seymour.
The 915kWp solar park was built by Solarsense and is funded and owned by Low Carbon Gordano Limited, a co-operative whose purpose is to help the local community to reduce energy costs and become more sustainable.
Solarsense and Low Carbon Gordano have been working together for more than 5 years and during the partnership have installed over 2.7MW of solar PV. Ham Lane is the second solar park to be built by the partnership following the successful Moorhouse Lane solar park. Which to date has generated over 2,500 MWh of electricity and offset 1,300 tonnes of CO2 from reaching the environment.
Ham Lane solar park consists of 3,600 solar panels and is currently generating 11% above its predicted output - generating 875.4MWh per annum - the equivalent to powering approximately 250 homes per year.
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”.
“I think what we see in solar energy, the fall in cost in particular but also the wide application of the technology is probably the most exciting thing to happen in human development since we realised that human diseases could be water born”.
“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 Stephen Barrett, Jon Gething (Solarsense and Low Carbon Gordano directors) and Kate Smith from Bristol Zoological Society.
Kate explained the importance of the Madagascar charity project which is being funded by Low Carbon Gordano. 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.
Richard Harris explains technical details.
Speeches from Stephen Barrett, Kate Smith, Sir Ed Davey & Jon Gething.
Ed Davey discusses solar heat batteries with Andrew Trewin from Sunamp.