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  • hammaad saghir

RWE Embarks on Construction of Initial Cluster of Solar Farms Across the UK

In a significant move towards expanding its green energy footprint, European energy leader RWE has commenced work on seven solar farm projects in the United Kingdom. These projects, once completed, will collectively boast 330MW of clean electricity capacity and 45MW of battery storage capacity.

The launch of these projects marks a pivotal milestone for RWE, as they represent the first wave of solar initiatives from its recently acquired solar and battery developer, JBM Solar. Following last March's acquisition, RWE now boasts a robust pipeline comprising approximately 3.8 GW of solar capacity and 2.3 GW of battery development projects.

These pioneering UK solar projects have already secured government-backed Contracts for Difference, underscoring their strategic importance in the nation's renewable energy landscape. Furthermore, they are designed to facilitate future co-location with battery storage projects, enhancing overall grid reliability and resilience.

"The deployment of these seven new projects represents a significant milestone for RWE as we grow and diversify our clean energy portfolio through solar and battery power in one of our most strategically important markets," said Katja Wünschel, chief executive of RWE Renewables Europe and Australia.

"Quick to deploy and using the most modern solar technologies, we aim to maximise the generation potential of these sites for the UK; with a national target to increase solar capacity five-fold by 2035 and similar for battery storage, our projects will play a key role in helping ensure the UK decarbonises its power grid and achieves its challenging net-zero targets."

With a commitment to leveraging modern solar technologies, RWE aims to maximize the generation potential of these sites, aligning with the UK's ambitious targets for increasing solar and battery capacity. The company anticipates the first site to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

Upon completion, these solar farms are projected to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 140,000 UK households, significantly reducing carbon emissions by an estimated eight million tonnes. Additionally, RWE's community-focused approach will contribute £645,000 in community benefits to local areas, supporting local projects and fostering economic opportunities.

This initiative marks just the beginning of RWE's ambitious expansion plans. The company aims to commission an average of 450MW of new solar capacity annually through 2030, in alignment with the UK's broader goal of achieving 70GW of solar capacity by 2035. Globally, RWE plans to substantially increase its installed solar capacity from 3.9GW to 16GW by 2030.

"Together with RWE, we will continue to drive the decarbonisation of the UK's energy systems realising the immense potential of clean energy," said Tom Keen, chief executive and founder of Ethical Power. 

"We're at the cutting edge of technological development. Providing optimum performance and the highest quality of service is of paramount importance to us. Working on the DC-coupled battery storage with RWE affords us the opportunity to do this again at scale. We'll use the depth of knowledge and experience within our teams to help bring new ideas and technology to the UK market."

In addition to these groundbreaking developments, RWE has reported a significant expansion of its green portfolio, accompanied by a noteworthy reduction in CO2 emissions. With net investments of €11.4bn and an increase in green energy production by 27%, RWE remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainability and innovation.

Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG, said the company was proud to look back "on a successful fiscal 2023".

"We achieved very good earnings, significantly expanded our green portfolio, and substantially reduced our CO2 emissions," he said. The fact that RWE is becoming increasingly climate-friendly while remaining a reliable energy company is not least thanks to our employees, whom I would like to thank for their outstanding performance last year. We are resolutely pursuing our 'Growing Green' strategy: another 100 projects with a total capacity of more than 8GW are already under construction."


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