UK-based company Foresight Solar Fund has acquired the largest park in the country, with an installed 72MW peak capacity and a 50MW alternating current (AC) export capacity.
Built over an area of 220 acres, the Shotwick solar park is located adjacent to UPM’s Shotton Paper Mill in Deeside, North Wales. The acquisition increases Foresight Solar Fund’s total portfolio to 17 assets, with a combined installed peak capacity of 420MW.
Foresight's UK solar partner and head Ricardo Pineiro said: “We are delighted to reach financial close on the acquisition of Shotwick solar park, a project with a unique deal structure, delivering green electricity to Shotton Paper Mill.
“As the UK’s largest solar site, the project sets an exciting new precedent in scale and flexibility for cost-efficient private wire arrangements and integration of renewable generation in the UK industrial sector.”
The Shotwick park supplies clean electricity to UPM, through a private wire, helping reduce the UK paper mill’s energy costs.
UPM's Shotton energy head Andrew Bronnert said: “We have been delighted by this partnership, which has built on our existing site renewable energy generation, recycling, and waste reprocessing to make UPM Shotton one of the most sustainable paper manufacturing sites in existence.
“The partnership further supports UPM’s own energy strategy.”
The clean power supplied by the solar facility will enable UPM to operate on up to 100% renewable energy during the day, saving up to 22,500t of carbon emissions every year. With this, Shotwick park and UPM will be able to offer long-term environmental and economic benefits to the local community.