London – Lightsource bp, a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, announces participation in the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) deployment project, which now includes funding of nearly £20m from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).
For Lightsource bp, this is an opportunity to contribute towards meaningful innovation and research into viable opportunities for technology (including solar), that could complement the future deployment of green hydrogen. There is a huge spotlight on green hydrogen at the moment, as it has the potential to play a vital role in decarbonising energy intensive industry.
Having developed solar projects in Wales since 2012, Lightsource bp currently operate and manage a portfolio of 7 grid-connected solar power stations across the region, including projects in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan and Wrexham. These sites are connected into the local electricity networks and have an installed capacity of almost 30MWp, which is equivalent to the annual energy needs of around 7,700 homes.
Joining SWIC, Lightsource bp adds value beyond just solar expertise by leveraging its wide range of in-house knowledge and skillsets across engineering excellence, quality, and technical innovation.
Lightsource bp will also bring a global perspective to the project by knowledge sharing outputs from other green hydrogen initiatives the company is involved with, primarily in Australia and Europe.
Chris Buckland, Technical Director, Lightsource bp, said: “Green hydrogen represents a big step in decarbonising the global fuel supply, sustainably supporting industries across all sectors. This announcement is a great step forward for the UK, and our participation in the SWIC is an example of how solar expertise can play a much wider role through innovation across the energy sector.
For us, it’s a chance to look at how the process currently works, and see how our skillsets can improve and adapt, to investigate new ways of optimising the process for solar. We’re excited to have this opportunity to demonstrate the quality of Lightsource bp’ knowledge and expertise and look forward to working with our partners to help drive the development of green hydrogen.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low-carbon industrial sector. While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment – without pushing emissions and business abroad. Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base.”
Lightsource bp and the other members of SWIC are working together to try and enhance the flexibility of the electrolyser technology and increase its efficiency for renewables, laying the groundwork for new routes to cost-effective, easily scalable hydrogen produced with the smallest possible carbon footprint.