Bumpers Solar Farm

Anesco has completed the construction of a portfolio of ground mounted solar projects at Bumpers Farm in Buckinghamshire, successfully demonstrating full lifecycle capabilities spanning development, construction, operation and maintenance.

Site overview

The Bumpers solar farms in Buckinghamshire were constructed within an 80-acre agricultural site within a working farm, located next to the Ilmer substation and Chiltern railway mainline in the village of Ilmer.

Anesco, one of the leading solar and battery storage developers in the UK, first became involved with the site in 2016. The team has since gone on to manage the development, build and maintenance of three solar farms, including a behind the metre installation financed directly by the landowner.

5MW subsidised solar farm

In 2016, Anesco acquired the development rights for Bumpers, which included a 5MW solar farm situated to the north of the railway line.

The solar farm’s construction was handled by Anesco’s EPC team, with all works completed in just 12 weeks. The site was able to capitalise on the government’s Renewable Obligation subsidy (ROCs), which were active at the time and make payments for energy generated from a renewable source that is fed back into the grid.

Since being energised, the installation has been monitored by Anesco’s operation and maintenance team, who will continue to look after the site for a period of 25 years to ensure the installation continues to operate at its optimal efficiency.

The solar farm was successfully acquired from Anesco by an investment fund in 2017.

12MW subsidy-free solar farm

In 2019, Anesco went on to build out the remainder of the acquired development rights.

This saw the successful completion of one of the UK’s first solar farms to be constructed free from government subsidies.

The 12MW solar farm generates enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 2,800 homes, while saving 5000 tonnes of carbon every year. The site also benefits from enhanced biodiversity measures that are designed to support local ecology, including at-risk bird and bat species.

Anesco’s industry-leading operations and maintenance team is monitoring the site, using the latest technology and proactive support to protect and optimise the performance of the asset.

The solar farm was purchased from Anesco by specialist alternative asset manager Gresham House for one of its New Energy funds, which are focused on investing in renewables and battery storage. It represented the sixth Anesco solar farm – and the first subsidy-free Anesco installation – to be acquired by Gresham House.

Client comment: Wayne Cranstone, Investment Director, Gresham House: “We are delighted to have bought another well-designed and constructed asset from Anesco, further cementing our longstanding relationship. We continue to actively expand our ground-mounted solar and battery storage portfolio, to meet the increasing demand for reliable renewable power from energy consumers and investors looking for attractive income.”

Behind the metre solar farm

In 2021, Anesco returned to the site once again, this time to collaborate directly with the landowner on a privately-funded solar development to power the local farm buildings on site.

Working closely with the landowner, Anesco developed and built a 467kW solar farm, comprising of more than 1000 solar modules, string inverters and a behind the meter point of connection.

Its development included a strong focus on biodiversity, including enhancements to an existing pond and the creation of habitats for at-risk species. The installation is now being monitored and maintained by Anesco’s O&M team.

By using the renewable energy being generated by the solar installation, the landowner has been able to significantly reduce how much power they need to purchase from the grid. This has led to a considerable saving on annual energy expenditure, while future-proofing against spiralling utility costs.

In summary

Every project undertaken at Bumpers has been completed on time, within budget and safely, following Anesco’s stringent health and safety procedures.

All three solar farms benefit from advanced biodiversity planning and improvements, which are designed to support local flora and fauna to thrive.

Sitting at the heart of each project is a collaborative approach that has been further strengthened by the strong relationship that has been formed with the landowner. In addition, careful consideration has been given to the local community throughout, to minimise potential disruption at all times.

Overall, these projects not only support the local authority in achieving its carbon reduction targets but are playing their part in accelerating the UK’s transition to net zero.

Aerial view of Drayton Manor

Project Highlights

  • In total, 17.5MW solar developed and built
  • One of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farms
  • Behind the meter solar farm benefiting landowner
  • Advanced biodiversity improvements
  • Industry-leading operations & maintenance in place
  • Anesco’s full lifecycle capabilities successfully utilised
  • Building close working relationships with leading investment groups