Milton Keynes, England, UK – 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 for almost six months now, having been completed in 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, the solar farm 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 said:
“Designing the Creacombe Solar Farm configuration around SMA’s new G99 certified PEAK 3 inverters made sense.”
SMA UK Sales Director, James Felstead said:
“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”.
As a leading global specialist in photovoltaic system technology, the SMA Group is setting the standards today for the decentralized and renewable energy supply of tomorrow. SMA’s portfolio contains a wide range of efficient PV inverters, holistic system solutions for PV systems of all power classes, intelligent energy management systems and battery-storage solutions as well as complete solutions for PV diesel hybrid applications. Digital energy services as well as extensive services up to and including operation and maintenance services for PV power plants round off SMA’s range. SMA inverters with a total output of around 85 gigawatts have been installed in more than 190 countries worldwide. SMA’s multi-award-winning technology is protected by more than 1,500 patents and utility models. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and is listed in the SDAX index.
Based in Milton Keynes, SMA Solar UK Ltd is the sales and service subsidiary of SMA for the United Kingdom and Ireland.
SMA Solar UK Ltd
Unit G1, 307 Upper Fourth Street
Tel. +33 678 43 36 48
Press Release provided by. Photo credit: © Goldbeck Solar. Drone photograph of extensive solar farm including SMA inverters, Creacombe, Devon UK.