In a significant step toward achieving its ambitious sustainability goals, Lightsource BP has secured a 50MW solar project in the latest UK Contracts for Difference (CFD) auction. The CFD scheme, a cornerstone of the UK Government’s strategy to transform the nation’s energy landscape, is fostering a substantial shift toward sustainable and renewable energy sources. The latest round of the CFD scheme, known as the fifth round, awarded nearly 2GW of solar power capacity in 15-year contracts. In total, 4GW of renewable power projects with state-backed contracts were allocated in this auction, underscoring the government’s commitment to renewable energy development.
The CFD auctions play a pivotal role in attracting investment in renewable energy initiatives. Each winning project receives a “strike price” per megawatt-hour (£/MWh). When the project generates electricity at a price lower than the strike price, the UK government supplements the payments. Conversely, if power prices surpass the strike prices, the excess revenue is returned to the authorities. This mechanism provides developers with a secure route to market, offering stable and predictable revenue streams from renewable energy projects.
Meeting sustainability targets is paramount for the UK Government, especially as it aims to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050 and install 70GW of solar capacity by 2035. The latter target entails a fivefold increase in solar energy deployment within just over a decade, requiring accelerated efforts. Lightsource BP is strategically positioned to facilitate this transition.
Kareen Boutonnat, CEO for EMEA and APAC at Lightsource BP, expressed satisfaction with their success in the UK CFDs, stating, “We’re pleased to see continued success in the UK CFDs with our developed solar projects. These results demonstrate not only the high quality of our projects but also the vital importance of solar as a route to a low-carbon future for the UK. Lightsource bp continues to support the UK’s targets of 70GW of solar by 2035 and net zero by 2050 via our increased investment into grid applications to realize new solar and battery projects across the country.”
Lightsource BP’s winning project, the Hulam solar project, spans 180 acres and boasts a power capacity of 49.9MWac. It is expected to yield annual carbon emission savings of 16,040 tonnes, equivalent to taking 3,412 cars off the roads (figures shared with the community during the planning process). The project will also incorporate bifacial solar panels to enhance solar farm efficiency and energy production for corporate off-takers.