Trumps farm landfill site

Trumps farm

Overview

The site is a former landfill site known as Trumps Farm and was closed several years ago. Equipment has been installed to generate electricity from landfill gas generated by the waste. TV Energy was commissioned to undertake a technical and economic assessment of the site in relation to its use for hosting a large photovoltaic (PV) panel array.

Technology

TV Energy modelled the available land area for mounting a series of PV sub-arrays on the existing landfill site. This was carried out through assessment of 3D AutoCAD drawings supplied by the client as well as use of TV Energy’s in-house software tool. This provided a detailed analysis of potential size of the PV array and the likely outputs. It was estimated that if ground mounted solar photovoltaic panels were to be installed at the 16ha site at a pitch of 25° the site has potential to support an array of 3MWp. The panels would be facing East, West and South to make the most of the space at the site and would have the potential to produce around 2,500,000kWh/year.

Economics

The total installation cost is anticipated to be £3million and is eligible to receive payments from the Feed in Tariff (FIT). The FIT would generate approximately £173,400 annually, allowing a payback period of around 9 years (based on the FIT as April 2012, 8.5p/kWh).

Similar arrays in Germany allow the landowner to receive a percentage of the total earnings produced from the solar array. This is usually around 7% and if applied at this site, Surrey County Council would receive around £12,000 annually.

Maintenance costs would be minimal but would require that vegetation be controlled so as not to shade out the panels.

Host Feedback / Importance of Technology

Solar farms are becoming increasingly popular as a source of energy from unused or ‘brownfield’ land. A solar farm makes productive use of such land and provides a boost to the environmental image of the site.

In addition, the solar array would produce an income stream for Surrey County Council, allowing for possible reinvestment in the local community, including further sustainability projects. The PV array would also save approximately 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

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