It has been announced that some of London’s iconic landmarks are to be powered by renewable energy from a giant solar panel farm in Dorset.  

Attractions such as Tower Bridge, the lights and facilities at Hampstead Heath and the Barbican Centre will be powered by renewable electricity from the village of Spetisbury, near Blandford Forum. 

The city of London has said that its historic buildings at Guildhall, Smithfield Market, and the Old Bailey will also run on the sustainable energy supply. 

In 2020, the City Corporation agreed a £40 million deal with international energy provider Voltalia to buy all the electricity produced by the new solar farm for 15 years. The facility has just been completed and will provide over half of the City Corporation’s electricity from 1 January 2023. 

The site will have a capacity of 49.9 megawatts, and it is hoped to save over £3 million in energy costs per year. 

Chairman of the City Corporation’s Environment Committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “This scheme is a pioneering blueprint by the City Corporation for local authorities across the UK, cutting carbon emissions and giving cheaper, more secure energy, protected from the price volatility of energy markets. The deal will increase our green energy supply, has no reliance on taxpayer funding, and helps us transition quickly away from fossil fuels.” 

The release has said that the deal is part of the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which commits it to reaching net zero in its own operations by 2027, and in its investments and supply chain by 2040.  

It will also be supporting the achievement of net zero for the whole Square Mile by the same year. The organisation is said to be investing £68m to achieve these goals. 

CEO of Voltalia, Sébastien Clerc, commented: “The completion of South Farm is a great achievement. I would like to warmly thank all the Voltalia teams and our local British suppliers and subcontractors, who have been working together on this project. In the current energy crisis, we are very proud to supply clean and cheap electricity to some of London’s most iconic landmarks. With this 15-year contract we are actively supporting the City Corporation in mitigating its energy budget volatility and reaching its net zero target.” 

Since 2018, the city has been sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy through existing infrastructure. 

Source: City of London News