London Southend Airport, Solar Farm
Southend Airport 2.5MW Site requires Enabling Solution – Argand Solutions (argandsolutions.com) worked closely with renewable energy provider Syzygy (syzygyrenewables.co.uk) to provide Southend Airport owner, Stobart Rail, with a 2.5MWp solar PV limited to 200kW.
Challenges & Actions
Syzygy Renewables, a large-scale developer of renewable generation, approached Argand with the need to provide a solution at Southend Airport to enable a 2.5 MWp solar PV system that would meet UK Power Networks (UKPN) requirement of a 200kW export limit. It sounds simple enough but there were significant technical challenges at the site given the size and complexity of their electrical distribution system. This included 2 High Voltage (HV) incomers and a 1.7km distance between these and the solar PV inverters with a runway in between.
Argand’s Solution: Argand worked closely with Syzygy to develop a solution that met both their technical and DNO-imposed requirements. The chosen solution was the GridGEM™ for Export Limitation (ELD) with Argand’s integrated Lenz monitoring solution. Argand solved the distance issue by utilising new technology to convert their existing copper wire into an Ethernet solution – enabling them to meet the stringent time requirements for export limited control solutions. In addition, we provided a monitoring interface that was able to account for the 2 HV incomers in such a way that UKPN were happy. The project was also completed before a critical pre-Xmas date which enabled the client to achieve a higher revenue rate than would otherwise have been the case.
As mentioned, the optimal solution and our commitment to get it installed and commissioned prior to the critical date enabled a significant return on investment for the client. In addition they were able to install 2.5MWp on-site as opposed to the original 200kWp with the result that the client was able to proceed with a significant investment that has enabled large reductions in energy consumption at the site. The Lenz analytics is developing the objective data to support a future investment in battery storage plus providing the client with risk analytics on their main HV incomers.
Lessons & Results
The 2.5MW installation comprises 9,500 modules covering 10 acres of land within the airport operating boundary.
It is expected to generate over 2.4m kWh, equivalent to 20% of the airport’s annual energy consumption, which makes a significant positive impact on the airport’s carbon footprint and demonstrates Stobart’s commitment to making London Southend Airport, voted the UK’s best airport in 2015, one of the most sustainable airports in the world.
The expected energy savings are 1,200 tonnes per year which is the equivalent of boiling 15.3m kettles per year!
This is the largest on-site solar installation at a European Airport