Energy firm Scottish Power plan to generate more renewable electricity from their onshore wind farms by installing photovoltaic solar panels. The solar panels will cover the ground beside the turbines and will include energy storage batteries.
The new installations will help the firm to ‘squeeze maximum potential’ from their clean energy sources. Scottish Power say it will also help the country on the whole to reach their net zero target for emissions.
Further Installations Dependent on Suitable Conditions
The company has applied for permission to install the first solar power systems underneath the blades of three wind farms. These are situated in Cornwall and Lancashire as well as one in Coldham, Cambridgeshire.
Scottish Power has aired hopes of integrating solar panels into most of their future onshore wind farms as well. The majority of them will be situated around Scotland and Ireland. The ground conditions of each site will determine whether they are suitable for solar panels.
The ‘Perfect Blend’ of Clean Energy Technologies
Scottish Power’s Chief Executive, Keith Anderson, said: “Every green megawatt of electricity will be crucial if we stand any chance of hitting net zero in 2050. This means squeezing the absolute maximum potential out of every clean energy project that we consider.
“In the UK and Ireland, the perfect blend of clean power from onshore renewables should include a mixture of clean energy technologies. The costs for building wind, solar and batteries have reduced considerably in recent years, and they complement each other very well. They perform best at different times of the day and at different times of the year. In the next eighteen months I believe hybrids will be the new normal for all renewable energy developers.”
A New Breed of Wind Farm
Scottish Power’s wind farms plans went into overdrive once they anticipated a government U-turn on wind farm support. They recently commenced expansion plans for their onshore wind farm projects, considering nearly 100 sites across Scotland and Ireland.
These futures wind farms will be a ‘new breed of wind farm’ using fewer turbines. In theory, this means Scotish Power will have spare space that can be utilised by solar panels & energy storage batteries. A small wind farm in this instance could install panels generating an additional 10MW of energy. This means an additional 10MW of energy could also be created via the addition of storage batteries.
In total, Scottish Power is planning to generate over 1,000MW of energy via their upcoming onshore wind farms.
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