Smith Brothers enlisted for Little Staughton solar project
Published: 3 September 2019 - Carly Wills
High-voltage power contractor, Smith Brothers has been appointed by NextEnergy Solar Fund as the Independent Connection Provider (ICP) on a new solar-generation project.
The Yorkshire-based contracting firm will design, construct, install and test a UK Power Networks (UKPN) 132kV substation and private 132/33kV customer substation in Little Staughton, Cambridgeshire.
A specialist investment and asset manager in the solar sector, NextEnergy has been leading in the generation of a more sustainable future since 2007 and, most recently, a forerunner in the UK market driving towards subsidy-free solar.
This is the first time the two firms have worked together and, with construction work underway, Smith Brothers is responsible for delivering both contestable and private works.
With the location set to be operational by the end of 2019, the project isn’t without its challenges. Plans also need to be made for a 4km fibre connection between the new 132kV substation and that at Eaton Socon – which will run across agricultural land.
Commenting on the partnership, NextEnergy Capital Ltd’s managing director, Ross Grier, said: “This is the first time we have worked with the Smith Brothers team, but their turnkey solutions were exactly what we were looking for in an ICP for this project.
“Their reputation for efficient project management and delivery on similar connection assignments helped them to stand out from their peers and we hope to continue to work together on subsequent schemes in the future.”
John Benson, project manager at Smith Brothers, added: “We are excited to be welcoming Next Energy to the Smith Brothers portfolio. We have seen a rapid rise in the demand for our expertise within the renewables sector in recent years, a trend we hope to see continue through 2019.”