Are wind & solar hybrid renewables key to all year power in UK?

  • 19 Jan 2016

howardchapmanHoward Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor looks at the latest plans to install 19,000 solar panels alongside 11 wind turbines already operational in Wales

Wind & solar hybrid renewables projects

Hybrid renewable energy parks combine wind and sun generation in the same project, in the same place, using the same grid connection. Is this the way forward for a more efficient approach to green energy generation in the UK? And does it go some way to answer some of the common criticism about the efficiency of land based wind turbines in the UK?

UK energy firm Ecotricity have already announced plans to build three new hybrid renewable energy parks, combining wind and solar power generation.

1-Fullscreen capture 19012016 060307Ecotricity founder Dale Vince:  “Hybrid renewable energy parks are a great idea – the two power sources are complementary and what you get in combination is a more consistent energy supply; it may sound obvious, but when there’s less sun in the winter, there’s typically more wind, and vice versa in the summer months – so putting wind and sun together has a big impact”.

These three new sunparks will add 15 MW of solar capacity, which could generate enough greenenergy each year to power the equivalent of almost 3,000 typical homes.

Hybrid project in Wales

Now a Swedish energy firm Vattenfall plan to start construction on its first UK solar project later this month with the build complete by the end of March.

Brad Allen, reporting via edie.net, outlined how Vattenfall will build a 4.99MW solar farm at the Parc Synog site in Camarthenshire, Wales, installing almost 19,000 solar panels alongside 11 wind turbines already on a site that they already own where the majority of the infrastructure is already in place, including the grid connection and access tracks.

The existing wind farm can power around 4,800 homes per annum, based on a UK average consumption, while the new solar farm is expected to produce enough electricity to power up to 1,441 homes a year during its 30-year lifespan.

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