PM ‘very aware’ UK needs to show leadership on renewable energy ahead of summits

The Prime Minister is “very aware” of the UK’s need to show leadership on renewable energy projects ahead of the G7 and COP26 summits, an energy boss has said.

Boris Johnson visited ScottishPower’s Carland Cross wind farm in Cornwall on Wednesday, where he helped install the first solar panels at the new hybrid energy site.

During his visit, he hailed the energy park as a “big step forward” which provides “a bright and exciting vision into a carbon-free future”.

G7 Summit
Prime Minister Boris Johnson views a solar panel during a visit to the Carland Cross Windfarm (Jon Super/PA)

The park will be the first of its kind in the UK, creating enough clean, green energy to power the equivalent of 15,000 homes as well as around 450 local jobs.

Upon completion, it will host 10,000 solar PV panels which will create a 10 megawatt solar farm – complementing Carland Cross’s existing 20 megawatt wind farm and one megawatt battery energy storage system.

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said the Prime Minister had been keen to demonstrate the UK’s position in “taking and driving” the renewable energy agenda.

“He completely understood that this is a big step forward for the UK, taking a wind farm and linking it to a solar project and a battery project, therefore maximising the amount of renewable energy which helps get the country closer to NetZero,” he said.

“This is the way we maximise land and the renewable energy we have so we can get the wind and when it’s not windy we can get the solar power.

“If we’ve got too much power we can capture it in the battery and get more back down the grid system.

“He said that having projects like this in the run up to the G7 and COP26 is great for the UK because it shows the leadership position the UK is taking and driving that whole agenda forward.

“He’s very aware of the need to show leadership and showing what can be done and trying to bring other countries with us.”

The project has cost a total of £28 million, with £20 million used to replace smaller turbines and repower the site, £7 million to install the solar project and £1 million to install the battery.

Mr Anderson said he hopes the site will be fully operational by September.

Mr Johnson said: “I am committed to supporting Cornwall’s ambition to be the first Net Zero region of the UK.

“The hybrid energy park at Carland Cross provides a bright and exciting vision into a carbon-free future that will protect our planet and create jobs for years to come.”