Earlier this summer a group of NIEVO members had the lucky opportunity to visit the Lightsource Renewable Energy solar farm at the Crookedstone Road near Crumlin.
As you’ll see from the photos it wasn’t the brightest evening to be visiting a solar farm. None the less the 30 acre site impressed with its 18,500 x 260w solar PV panels, giving a total output of 4.83 MWp.
All of the electricity is transferred straight to the private network of Aldergrove International Airport just a few hundred metres away. The Solar farm provides 27% of the airports electricity demand, reducing carbon emissions by 2,100 tonnes per year. Lightsource calculate this is the equivalent of taking 469 ICE cars off the road.
One of the things that struck us on our walk around the site was the simplicity of the installation. The area is split in half electrically, with 2 large SMA Sunny Central 2200 inverters used to convert the DC output of the panels to AC. These then feed on into 2 transformers to step up the voltage.
Lightsource told us it costs roughly £1M per 1MWp of installation so this solar farm represents an investment of around £5M.
Many thanks to Lightsource for facilitating our facinating visit and especially to Kate and Giulia for all their help.