One of the UK's largest solar farms is to be built in County Durham.

Sonnedix, the global renewable energy producer with over 3GW operating capacity, has begun construction of Cowley Complex, the largest plant in its 300MW UK portfolio. The 120MW ground-mounted solar PV plant is set to become one of the largest solar PV plants in the UK once completed later in 2025.

Cowley is made up of three connected sites of 60MW, 43MW and 17MW. Once operational, it will supply roughly 124,600 MWh of renewable electricity per year, enough to power 35,000 UK homes and avoid almost 48,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The plant is being built by EPC contractor Ameresco Sunel Energy Ltd, providing more than 100 green jobs in the area.

The project is the first to draw from Sonnedix’s innovative EUR500 million loan facility secured in December to finance the construction of renewable energy projects in Europe and the UK. The multicurrency loan allows Sonnedix to cluster, contract and construct its development pipeline of renewable plants more efficiently and flexibly.

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The whole UK portfolio is 100 per cent contracted under the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme providing long-term price and revenue security. Following completion of construction of Cowley Complex, the CfD scheme will become effective in 2026.

Axel Thiemann, CEO of Sonnedix, said: “With construction of the largest plant in our UK portfolio underway, we have marked a major milestone in our UK growth strategy. We are excited to be progressing our presence in the market and becoming a key player in helping the UK transition towards a clean, secure and sustainable energy system and meeting its decarbonisation goals.”

Jorge Amiano Goyarrola, Global Head of Engineering and Construction, said: “We’re extremely excited to be breaking ground on the Cowley site. At 120MW, this is an important infrastructure project for the local area, providing over 100 green jobs during construction and the secure supply of green, affordable energy once operational. We’re very proud to be working on what is set to be one of the largest solar PV plants across the whole of the UK once completed.”