Evolution Power sets sights on initial 165MW solar and storage site in the UK

Solar Energy UK joins renewable and nuclear trade bodies to call for grid decarbonisation

Published: 8 Nov 2021, 10:29

Image: Andreas Gücklhorn (unsplash).

Evolution Power has unveiled plans for a 165MW solar and storage project near Ashford in Kent.

Stonestreet Green Solar will sit on land near Aldington, and connect to the nearby Sellindge substation. Its generation capacity will be up to 165MW, but its export capacity will be 99.9MW.

Giles Frampton, director of Evolution Power, said: “The site at Stonestreet Green has been carefully selected for this project. It has access to a nearby grid connection and is near to large local energy users; the site is predominantly low-quality land, which can continue to be grazed; it has high solar irradiation given its south east location and has good access to the M20 and A20. The battery storage means that the project could provide electricity when it is most needed, not just during daylight hours.”

It is the first site announced by Evolution Power since it partnered Finnish sustainable investment group Korkia to fund an initial 1GW pipeline in September.

As the Stonestreet Green Solar is over 50MW, it is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), meaning Evolution Power will need to apply through a Development Consent Order (DCO). Whether the site is approved for development will fall to the secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

It is the latest in a slew of NSIP projects announced in recent months, including the 350MW Mallard Pass Solar Farm announced by Canadian Solar and Windel Energy just last week (4 November).

In October, a 500MW solar and energy storage park in Lincolnshire was announced by Low Carbon, in September BayWa r.e. registered the 163MW Oaklands Solar Farm, in 2020 the Longfield Solar Energy Farm in Essex was registered and in 2018 the 120MW Little Crow Solar Farm was put forward by Hampshire-based INRG Solar.

The only site to have yet gained approval is the 350MW Cleve Hill Solar Farm, which was acquired by Quinbrook in September 2021 and renamed to Project Fortress.

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