Schneider Electric connected over 300 MW of solar power in the UK in March, the company has just announced. The 300 MW of solar is distributed over 20 different sites, and 7 different companies assisted in their construction. Schneider’s technology — in the form of monitoring cabinets, integrated inverters, transformers, switchgears, and switchboards — allowed the projects to be completed, and in a timely fashion.
“Schneider Electric’s differentiator in the market is the ability to deliver a complete, competitive, and optimized electrical system, including the grid connection, to most regions of the world. This was crucial in the UK due to tight deadlines and the importance of getting suitable DNO compliant switchgears. Many customers trusted in our ability to make it happen, and we are proud to have met their expectations, despite the difficulties of delivering and commissioning so many equipment,” explained Schneider’s Head of Global Sales for the Power Plants Line of Business, Pierre-Emmanuel Frot.
300 MW might sound to some like a number that doesn’t mean much, unless you are someone who follows the energy industry. It has been estimated that in the US, one megawatt of solar power can provide electricity to about 164 homes. This estimate may not be all that relevant for conditions in the UK (the UK has less sunlight, but the average home there also uses much less energy). If it is comparable, 300 MW would be enough to power about 49,000 homes. So, that is clearly a very large number of people who will receive electricity from a clean, renewable source.
When we think of solar power, we might not immediately envision the UK as an ideal place for it. However, Germany is a solar power leader and it’s climate isn’t the sunniest either. The fact is, solar power makes sense in countries all around the world now — in northern countries, southern countries, and everything in between.
The UK has invested more in wind power so far, but that might have been because until recently solar power was considered pricey. The cost of solar has dropped dramatically and may continue to do so. The UK and other countries that have overlooked solar or have been very cautious, can now dive into it in an economically beneficial way.
One advantage that solar power has over wind is that it typically takes less time to install — especially if it is rooftop solar.
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