One of the first community ground-mount solar farms since the end of the Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) in the UK has been successfully generating clean solar power since December 2019. Creacombe Solar Farm is Yealm Community Energy’s second community project. Located in Devon it serves five parishes. With a capacity of 7.3MWp and powered by SMA inverters will generate enough power for the equivalent of around 2,500 homes and will save an estimated 3,100 tonnes of C02 annually.
At 7.3MWp it’s not always clear whether to build with central or string inverters, luckily with the Sunny Highpower PEAK 3 inverter there is now the option to go decentralised and benefit from both worlds. Developed by SMA specifically for projects of this size, the 150kW inverter offers all the benefits of string inverters in terms of flexibility and the option to use local service providers, but with the robustness of a small central inverter.
The EPC, Goldbeck Solar, took another ground-breaking step, when they decided to use SMA’s decentralised PEAK 3 inverter, the first installation in the UK. The configuration uses DC combiner boxes so the DC cable home-runs are more affordable compared to those of string inverters of the same size. The affordability gains don’t stop there, as the PEAK 3 inverters are clustered around the MV transformers, the AC cable runs are very short, saving both capex and yield losses. Goldbeck Solar International Sales Manager, Nevres Dabil “Designing the Creacombe Solar Farm configuration around SMA’s new G99 certified PEAK 3 inverters made sense.”
SMA UK Sales Director, James Felstead says “The flexibility the PEAK 3 provides by being decentralised has changed and improved the configuration of mid to large scale solar projects, making huge gains in viability which is a great bonus in the subsidy-free market.” Felstead adds “it’s great to see ground mount projects taking off in the UK and SMA continues work to improve technology and solutions in solar inverters and on-site energy storage.”
Creacombe Solar farm encompasses 27 acres of low grade land and the site design incorporates traditional Devonshire hedgerows to ensure minimal visual impact alongside many planned biodiversity elements including beehives as they are located within the South Devon “B-Lines”.
Creacombe, Devon, UK
Yealm Community Energy
Annual Energy Yield
3,100 tons per year