On New Year’s Eve the Braydon Manor solar farm was successfully connected to the grid. Pictures below are from last week. There is plenty of typing up to do, and the weather hasn’t been exactly sunny, nonetheless, energy is being generated. Our partners in construction say that the arrays are exceptionally large and strong, deeper and longer than average. Good to know!
Connecting the project to the grid was no easy task. Storm Eva ruined our first attempt to energise the site on the 22nd December because by the time testing was complete, energy company SSE who was responsible for the control was unable to turn off the overhead line we were connecting too. The storm was too close and SSE was definitely not going to risk any customers having power cuts in the lead up to Christmas.
We reassembled on site on the 30th December for our second attempt and were allowed to connect to the overhead line despite the approach of Storm Frank. However, by the time this work was done (around 2.00 pm) the storm had arrived with a vengeance and there was not enough light to turn on the site and generate electricity that day — it was actually almost pitch black with low clouds and horizontal driving rain. Nonetheless, energisation to the main switch on site was completed that day.
So some people reassembled at 8.00 am on 31st December when we were blessed with an actual sunrise and clear skies which were enough to complete the final tests, switch on the site and generate 1MW of electricity which was sufficient to prove the site was working. Final commissioning live testing could be carried out by Solarcentury and we could confirm to Ofgem that the site was commissioned.
In spite of this little odyssey the whole WWCE team and its partners were very satisfied with the work done. The site needs polishing but looks great and soon enough will look as pretty as Chelworth.