Bruton Knowles brightens German renewable firm’s UK solar site search

Bruton Knowles brightens German renewable firm’s UK solar site search

Leading Chartered Surveyor firm, Bruton Knowles, has been appointed by Green Solar Energy UK - a subsidiary of eminently successful German renewable firm Gruene Energien Solar GmbH - to identify suitable locations across the UK to expand into the British market.

The renowned company, which has delivered successful large-scale schemes across Europe, specialises in designing ground mounted or floating solar farms on big plots of land. Its objective is to deliver affordable electricity output that meets the needs of local communities.

Bruton Knowles’ brief is to undertake a nationwide site-finding mission. Green Solar Energy UK wants to find sizeable areas of around 280 hectares - equivalent to almost seven hundred football pitches - for which negotiations around usage can then begin.

Experts from Bruton Knowles’ National Utilities and Infrastructure Team have been working hard since their appointment by the company last year to assess land availability.

The search area is broadly south of Manchester but including east of Leeds up to Newcastle Upon Tyne.

As well as meeting the prerequisite size requirements, suitable plots must also be in close proximity to overhead power lines, so the electricity generated can be transferred back into the grid.

Joan Halligan, Associate at Bruton Knowles, who has been leading on the site-finding efforts, commented: “Seeking permissions for greenbelt development requires the demonstration of special circumstances. That’s why our initial priority has been to assess the availability of brownfield sites which might lend themselves to a redevelopment of this nature.

“By removing some of the planning obstacles at an early stage, we can enable our client to power their way to a successful outcome within a shorter timeframe and ahead of its competitors.

“Furthermore, by bringing brownfield land back into beneficial use – something that’s fundamental to the UK Sustainable Development Strategy – our client will be able to stimulate a wider regeneration process.

“This is very much in keeping with the ethos of Gruene Energien Solar GmbH, whose overall business objective is to offer communities sustainable power generation alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuels.”

Bruton Knowles has already been in touch with a number of landowners up and down the country to scope out potential interest and the potential for deals being struck for solar electricity production on sites over a thirty-to-forty-year lease period.

As part of this process, Gruene Energien Solar GmbH would make significant investments in installing the very latest cutting-edge technologies on these plots. This would maximise the overall power capacity at each location and deliver an efficient and innovative energy solution.

In the wake of COP26 and Government’s ambition for the UK to become Net Zero by 2050, the next decade will be pivotal in the fight against climate change. There has never been a better time for renewable firms like Green Solar Energy UK to progress their vision for a cleaner, greener global electricity market.

Public consciousness about worrying ecological trends that high profile think-tanks continue to report on has hit an upward trajectory. Increasingly, consumers are seeking ways to reduce their own carbon footprints by using pollution-free sources of energy.

The UK Government estimates this eco-awakening has stimulated an exponential increase in UK solar capacity in recent times. Between 2014-2019, it more than doubled, putting Britain in third place amongst its European counterparts.

Despite changes to incentives such as the feed-in tariff and Value Added Tax (VAT) levels, which some believe might cast a shadow over solar growth in the UK, Green Solar Energy UK believes now is the time to spark the eco-infrastructure revolution.

Trade association Solar Energy UK concurs, stating 2021 was a crucial flashpoint for the country’s solar ambitions. It predicted Britain remained on track to deploy more than one gigawatt of new photovoltaic installations as the market stepped up to meet growing demands for greener energy solutions.

Joan continued: “There is clearly an appetite amongst landowners with potentially suitable sites to diversify. Some, particularly those who already operate in the waste management, mining, and quarrying sectors, have been very receptive to Green Solar Energy UK’s proposals.

“Many aspire to make their business portfolios more environmentally friendly, so our client’s proposition is a perfect match for their own sustainability objectives. It also reflects Bruton Knowles’ commitment to the low carbon economy.

“Through our work, we want to support and enable the green transition. Making our towns, cities, and rural areas - and their supporting infrastructures - more sustainable goes beyond economics and the environment. It is also about leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Bruton Knowles offers a one-stop-shop for clients, with its four National Teams - Valuation, Commercial, Utilities & Infrastructure and Building Consultancy - providing a point of contact to deliver an entire project to the exacting standards required.

National Teams have been significant for Bruton Knowles’ business portfolio over the past year, and there are plans to launch more in due course.

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