NextEnergy Capital Group (“NEC”), a leading specialist in solar investment and solar asset management, is pleased to report the visit from the Right Honourable Alok Sharma, President for COP26, and the Right Honourable Mr Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, to the Group’s Llanwern solar farm located near Newport in South Wales.
The visit follows the energization of the UK’s largest subsidy-free solar farm in April this year with Llanwern representing the UK’s largest solar farm, helping to significantly increase the UK’s generation from renewable energy sources as it looks to a decarbonized future. The relevance of developments such as Llanwern in reducing the UK’s carbon footprint will be key to the agenda at this years’ United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.
Llanwern solar farm has an installed capacity of 75MWp, generating enough clean energy to power over 20,000 homes a year. Llanwern is the largest solar farm constructed and energized in the UK and is a Development of National Significance, approved by the Welsh Assembly in 2018. Llanwern was constructed during the Covid-19 pandemic and employed over 200 workers on-site at peak construction. The asset is situated within the Gwent Levels, an area with special ecological considerations supporting unique ecology.
A one-of-a-kind ecological management plan sits behind the asset – agreed in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Royal Society for the Protection of Bird (RSPB), and other stakeholders including Newport Council – which will restore the landscape for the specific benefit of rare birds, small mammals and invertebrates; many of which are unique to this area.
Right Honourable Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, commented: “It is a pleasure to visit the UK’s largest solar farm with the COP26 President and to see first-hand how renewable energy can be used to power the country, which in the run-up to COP26 is more relevant than ever.”
“Projects such as the Llanwern Solar Farm will play a vital role in the UK Government’s efforts to meet its net-zero ambition by 2050. “Wales has the potential to be a world leader in renewable energy and I thank NextEnergy Capital for continuing to drive momentum in the UK’s solar sector, laying the foundations for a future of green economic growth here in Wales,” he added.
Michael Bonte-Friedheim, Founding Partner and Group CEO of NextEnergy Capital, commented: “It is a great honour to host The Right Honourable Secretary of Wales, Mr. Simon Hart, at our Llanwern site today and be able to discuss the importance of projects like Llanwern for Wales and the wider United Kingdom. The development of the UK’s largest solar farm was the result of successful collaboration from many groups including the Welsh Assembly, local council, construction, and ecological groups, and I thank and congratulate them all for their hard work on the project. We will see the benefits of our Llanwern solar farm for many years to come and we look forward to seeing further solar farms developed in Wales in the years ahead.”
NEC was founded in 2007 to become the leading investment manager in the solar sector. Since its inception, it has been active in the development, construction, and ownership of solar assets. It currently has solar assets under the management of c.US$2.8bn, across three investment vehicles. To date, NEC has invested in over 240 individual solar plants for an installed capacity in excess of 1GW.
WiseEnergy® is NextEnergy Capital Groups active operating asset manager. WiseEnergy is a leading specialist operating asset manager in the solar sector. Since its founding, WiseEnergy has provided solar asset management, monitoring and technical due diligence services to over 1,300 utility-scale solar power plants with an installed capacity in excess of 2.2GW. WiseEnergy clients comprise leading banks and equity financiers in the energy and infrastructure sector.
NextPower Development is NextEnergy Capital Group’s development platform that is active in the development phase of solar projects. It has developed over 100 utility-scale projects internationally and continues to progress a large pipeline of c.2.5GW of both green and brownfield project developments across global geographies.