Unrelated to our current sun bonanza, see this from Renewable Energy Magazine today:
‘Elgin Energy has received planning permission for a 50 MW solar PV project at Milltown Airfield near Elgin in Moray, which, when completed, will be the largest solar PV project in Scotland to date.
Upon completion, the solar farm will supply 50 MW of clean and affordable electricity powering up to 15,000 Scottish homes or 19,000 electric vehicles annually. Elgin Energy already has an extensive portfolio of projects across Scotland and the UK. The company previously developed the current largest operational solar farm in Scotland – Errol, a 13 MW solar farm in Perth – completed in 2016. In 2015, Scotland achieved its 50 percent target of gross annual electricity consumption from renewable energy. The country is now on track to achieve its target of 100 percent by 2020. Scotland has a current total installed capacity of 319 MW of solar PV.’
For those surprised that Scotland has such potential for solar power generation, see this:
‘Installing solar power in Scotland is beneficial even though it doesn’t receive as much solar irradiation as somewhere like Africa, India or Southern Europe. Looking at the solar irradiation map, we can see that the solar irradiance in the UK and Scotland is not too dissimilar to Germany – the largest photovoltaic (PV) market in the world, which had 24.7 GW of PV installed at the end of 2011 (European Photovoltaic Industry Association: EPIA Market Report 2011).’
See the map above for evidence of this. Further, see this pie chart below as evidence of just how significant an element solar power could be though this is for the UK as a whole so the ratio of solar to wind power would be a bit different. However, latitude is not the only factor and the report from Siser reveals that: ‘some installations in Scotland, like the ones in the Dundee/Aberdeen area, regularly perform just as well as installations down south. Interestingly in April and May installations on the west coast also performed as well as some in Cornwall.’
Also, the quality of the installation may be more significant than the actual amount of ‘solar irradiance.’ So, a top-quality installation in Dundee could generate more than a lower quality one in Essex.
I know, we’ve already got more wind, tidal and carbon-based resources than we could possibly use but we can sell the surplus.