Solar farm to power London offices

Workspace Group, a corporate landlord, has made an agreement with Europe’s largest renewable energy generator to provide solar power for their offices in London.
Workspace, a flexible office provider, has agreed directly to purchase power from a new solar farm in Devon.

Statkraft, which is behind the project, has signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement for ten years. It is Europe’s biggest generator of solar, wind, and hydro power.

Statkraft’s Devon solar farm will produce 22 gigawatts an hour, enough to power around 8, 000 homes per year.

Workspace stated that the deal will supply about two-thirds of the energy needed by their 77 offices located in London and South of England. The electricity will start flowing into its properties in February next year.

David Benson said, “As businesses increasingly look for work spaces that are sustainable and run on clean electricity, our switch to higher-quality renewable electricity is both attractive commercially and sustainable.”

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Statkraft, a Norwegian state-owned company with roots in Norway’s hydroelectric industry, is owned by the government. Its roots can be traced back to an 1895 deal where the state bought a waterfall.

Since then, the company has expanded to include solar and wind energy generation. It is now one of Britain’s largest onshore renewables developers, and has invested over £1.3bn in UK’s renewable infrastructure.

Statkraft also operates four onshore wind farm in Wales and Scotland. It also operates the Rheidol hydropower plant near Aberystwyth in Wales.

The Norwegian company operates or is developing almost a dozen of solar farms in the UK. These are located from Cornwall to Yorkshire.

Devon is a great location for solar farms, as it receives around 1,600 hours per year of sunshine. This compares to the UK average of 1,400. There are also vast expanses of greenland.

According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, 19 solar farms were either approved or refused, or are still awaiting a decision on a planning application in the East Devon District Council Constituency.

Solar farms are often met with local opposition. Last month, plans for a 60,000 solar panel site near Exeter by Japanese developers Taiyo was approved despite loud opposition from campaigners.

Sonia Jain is the head of sustainability for Workspace. She said, “The recent Cop28 agreement that countries will triple their renewable energy capacities by 2030, is supported by our decisions, which allow new capacity to be added to the grid rather than just relying on existing supplies.”

Statkraft has declined to comment.