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Creacombe Solar Farm – 7,3 MWp
Repurposing brownfield sites for green energy – Flintshire, UK, 2021
Across two brownfield sites Flintshire County Council have installed 9,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The sites are a former chemical works at Crumps Yard and the other a previous landfill site, Flint Landfill Solar Farm. This project demonstrates an ideal use of potentially problematic land sites being regenerated and repurposed for renewable, green energy counteracting some of the impact its former use has had.
Working with ENGIE Regeneration, SMA inverters helped tackle the more complex aspects of the projects, as they are both previous waste sites the land needed to be capped and vented correctly and the solar installation needs to sit atop this cap without any penetration into the ground cap. This results in several adaptions to a usual installation, firstly all the cable runs which are normally laid in trenches and concealed underground need to run above ground in ducts. Then the panel and inverters mounts need to again sit atop the ground cap. The SMA Sunny Highpower Peak 3 inverter was the ideal solution, optimal performance and high power to weight ratio. Furthermore Smart Connected technology delivers free and automatic inverter monitoring by SMA , proactive communication by e-mail in the event of faults and lower lifecycle service costs with no on-site diagnosis needed.
Barry Tayburn, Head of Energy and Innovation at ENGIE said “We have an excellent track record of installing renewable technologies, so it's great that we could bring our expertise to help reduce community energy bills and the Council’s carbon footprint by introducing this innovative technology.”
Recently commissioned, it is anticipated that the two sites will generate in excess of 3,487 MWh of solar energy annually, plus saving more than 800 tonnes of CO2 each year, contributing to the council’s environmental agenda and their drive to become a green council. It is an example councils across the country should be following and is the perfect solution or land that has historically been unusable for decades, now that land can generate renewable energy whilst the land underneath is regenerating from its former uses.