50MW JBM solar-plus-storage site given green light

Solar PV under construction for NHS hospital on former Wolverhampton landfill site

Published: 9 Feb 2022, 11:52

The solar is currently under construction on the former landfill site. Image: Pixabay

Construction of a new solar farm is currently underway on a landfill site in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, with the site due to be operational by summer.

The solar farm – which is to be built across 11 hectares – is expected to produce 6.9MWp per year, which is to be fed direct to New Cross Hospital, making it the first hospital in England to fully utilise and operate its own facility providing renewable energy. It forms part of the hospital’s aims of being net carbon zero by 2040.

Other hospitals to turn to solar include Morriston Hospital in Swansea, with the Brynwhillach Solar Farm linked to the hospital via private wire. Meanwhile, Centrica Business Solutions has installed 300 solar panels for Hereford County Hospital as part of a wider £4.7 million energy upgrade.

While the solar farm in Wednesfield is due to be operational by this summer, the site won’t be fully complete by this time, according to the Environment Agency.

As part of the planning process, City of Wolverhampton Council is required to manage the landfill in its closed state by retaining the existing landfill monitoring infrastructure and continuing to provide access for the Environment Agency to carry out its regulation of the site.

The site, which was formerly mined for coal, was operated as a landfill unit until it was closed and capped in 1996-1997.

“It’s fantastic to see a former landfill being used in this way to provide a renewable energy source for the hospital,” Joe Craddock, Environment Officer at the Environment Agency said.

Other solar farms to be developed on former landfill sites include a community-owned solar farm developed by Plymouth Energy Community, one that forms part of the Bedford Green Technology and Innovation Park and Cambridgeshire County Council’s 2.93MW Stanground solar and battery storage park.

Additionally, last year Veolia announced it was to double its renewable electricity capacity, deploying solar panels across restored landfill sites.

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