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    RWE commences building of seven photovoltaic projects in the UK

    RWE has revealed plans for seven solar projects in the UK, totaling 330MW of fresh, sustainable electricity generation, which are now set to begin construction. These projects mark the initial phase of RWE’s solar endeavors in the UK, following its acquisition of JBM Solar, a prominent developer of solar and battery facilities in the country.


    With this acquisition, RWE gains access to approximately 3.8GW of solar capacity and 2.3GW of battery development, establishing its position as a leading solar developer in the UK.


    Mobilization has commenced at the project sites, with all projects having already secured Contracts for Difference, ensuring their financial viability. Furthermore, these projects are being designed to accommodate future battery storage installations where not already in place, aiming to optimize grid utilization.


    Katja Wünschel, Chief executive of RWE Renewables Europe & Australia, said “The deployment of these seven new projects represents a significant milestone for RWE as we grow and diversify our clean energy portfolio through solar and battery power, in one of our most strategically important markets.


    “Quick to deploy and using the most modern solar technologies, we aim to maximise the generation potential of these sites for the UK. With a national target to increase solar capacity five-fold by 2035 and similar for battery storage, our projects will play a key role in helping ensure the UK decarbonises its power grid and achieves its challenging net zero targets.”


    The initial site of the seven is scheduled to be fully operational by the conclusion of 2024, with the others following shortly thereafter.


    Once operational, these sites will have the capacity to supply electricity to over 140,000 average UK households annually, resulting in an estimated reduction of 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions over their lifespan. Additionally, RWE’s projects will contribute £645,000 in community benefits to local parishes, directly supporting local initiatives and creating employment opportunities for local businesses.


    RWE aims to commission an average of 450MW of new solar capacity per year in the UK until 2030, aligning with the country’s goal of achieving 70GW of solar capacity by 2035. On a global scale, RWE plans to increase its installed solar capacity from 3.9GW to 16GW by 2030.


    To facilitate construction, RWE has awarded major contracts to two UK-based contractors, Ethical Power and Equans UK & Ireland (now Equans Solar & Storage), who will provide comprehensive Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services for seven solar farm projects across England, spanning from north Devon to Lincolnshire.


    Tom Kneen, Ethical Power chief executive and founder, said “We are proud to have been selected by RWE for this market-leading development where we’ll be able to showcase the full scope of our capabilities.”


    “Together with RWE, we will continue to drive the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy systems realising the immense potential of clean energy. We are at the cutting edge of technological development.”


    “Providing optimum performance and the highest quality of service is of paramount importance to us.”


    “Working on the DC coupled battery storage with RWE affords us the opportunity to do this again at scale.”


    “We’ll use the depth of knowledge and experience within our teams to help bring new ideas and technology to the UK market.”


    Gregory Allouis, Energy solutions director for Equans UK & Ireland, added “We are very pleased to support RWE in the delivery of their UK ambitions through leveraging our expertise in energy engineering innovation in the solar market.”


    “Across multiple projects, we will deploy diverse and state-of-the-art technologies that will provide the UK economy with clean energy produced locally. Furthermore, our works will benefit local communities and create jobs.”


    “There is no time to waste to fight global warming and, as engineers, it is our duty to play our part now. By working in partnership with RWE, we can together accelerate the path to net zero.”


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