Smith Brothers Contracting Ltd is set to provide turnkey electrical engineering services at the planned Sunnica Energy Farm – a 500MW solar-plus-storage project.
The clean energy scheme is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and, if approved, will be capable of powering around 100,000 homes.
Acting as the Independent Connection Provider (ICP), Smith Brothers will provide a turnkey solution for the renewable energy site, including all civil, electrical primary and grid works – from initial design through to construction, commissioning, and electrical balance of the plant.
The Huddersfield-headquartered electrical engineering firm will also oversee the building of three 132kV private substations and laying of a 132kV cable route to the solar farm, in order to connect the site to the Burwell National Grid Substation.
But the project isn’t without its challenges. The proposed 16km of cabling must traverse existing infrastructure, including a railway line and dual carriageway. As such, Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) methods will be applied, in conjunction with Network Rail and Highways England, respectively.
Dave Ogden, director at Smith Brothers said: “The Sunnica Energy Farm is set to be a momentous project in meeting the UK’s green energy targets, and everyone at Smith Brothers is delighted to be working on such a prestigious scheme.
“Planning works are already well underway, with a 30-strong team from across the business set to collaborate on the turnkey delivery.”
Luke Murray from Sunnica Ltd added: “Solar energy generation and battery storage are a sustainable and clean means of meeting our changing energy needs – particularly the government's target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Given the potential scale of the Sunnica Energy Farm, it was vital that we appointed an ICP which had a solid reputation for deliveries of this significance. Although this is the first time we’ve worked with Smith Brothers, we’re well-versed in some of the company’s other renewable project deliveries and are confident the team will ensure a timely and successful energisation.”
Planning works are already in motion, with construction set to begin in 2022 and a target energisation date of 2025.