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  • Hanaa Siddiqi

Downing Reveals Ambitious 750MW Solar Plus Battery Initiative in Lincolnshire

Downing Renewable Developments is setting the stage to launch a monumental solar and battery storage project in Lincolnshire, poised to be among the UK's largest with a capacity of 750MW. This ambitious endeavour, known as the Meridian Solar Farm, promises to harness the sun's power to supply clean energy to approximately 215,000 homes annually.

The announcement came as the company began to solidify its plans, moving towards engaging with local communities and stakeholders. This preliminary phase is crucial as Downing aims to submit a comprehensive planning application, marking a significant step forward in renewable energy development.

Downing is committed to enhancing the local ecosystem with an innovative approach to sustainability. The project includes a strategic plan to achieve a 10% net increase in biodiversity on the site, aligning with the UK's latest environmental regulations for infrastructure and residential developments.

"As one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy, a five-fold increase in solar capacity is anticipated by 2035 in the government's Energy Security Strategy," said Tony Gannon, head of Downing Renewables Developments (DRD). "This cannot be achieved through rooftop and brownfield solar installations alone and, as such, projects such as Meridian Solar Farm will become essential to the UK's energy mix."

The process will soon enter a vital phase of community consultation and stakeholder engagement, laying the groundwork for Downing to seek official planning approval from the UK government. This step is necessitated by the project's substantial impact, which is classified under UK law as a nationally significant infrastructure project due to its 50MW+ capacity. Downing has also initiated the regulatory process by applying for an electricity generation license with Ofgem, demonstrating a proactive approach to meeting the UK's future energy needs sustainably and efficiently.

The plans mark the latest clean power project in DRD's pipeline, which currently boasts some 5.7GW of renewable energy projects at various stages of development across the UK,

"We have a long-term vision for Meridian Solar Farm, which will significantly enhance local wildlife and provide real benefits to the local communities," said senior DRD project engineer Chris Coates. "As part of the initial project development process, we are beginning our stakeholder engagement campaign and aim to commence informal consultation in Spring 2024 to receive feedback on our early-stage proposals."


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