SITA sites to become solar farms

Solar energy specialists were invited to tender for the sites in early 2014.

NATIONAL recycling and waste management firm, SITA UK, and Somerset-based British Solar Renewables (BSR) have agreed a deal that could see a number of SITA UK’s landfill sites turned into solar power farms – generating renewable energy for the National Grid.

Alongside its recycling and other waste management facilities, SITA UK operates a landfill estate within the UK and, earlier this year, decided to search for a company that could help it make best use of sites that have been sealed (or “capped”) and are no longer accepting waste material.
Although SITA UK already generates sustainable energy from its capped landfill sites by extracting methane gas, the company wanted to explore additional ways that these facilities could be put to best use.
Early in 2014, SITA UK invited several solar energy specialists to tender for exclusive rights to pursue solar projects on a proportion of its landfill estate and, after a rigorous bidding process, chose British Solar Renewables (BSR) as its partner.
Following their selection, BSR will now conduct a comprehensive assessment of SITA UK’s landfill estate over the coming months and will shortlist a number of sites that it considers to be suitable for potential solar farm development.
Once the suitable sites have been selected, development on the individual sites will be subject to planning permission from the relevant local authorities and consultation with any local residents where applicable. Any future planning applications will be pursued directly by BSR.
SITA UK chose BSR on the basis of the company’s prior expertise
in building upon landfill sites, alongside its integrated in-house capabilities to manage development, construction, independent connection and operational services.
The agreement will have no bearing on the long term maintenance and operation of the individual sites and SITA UK will remain responsible for all aftercare of the landfill operation.
General Manager for Landfill at SITA UK, Geraint Rees said: “Following the tendering process, we’re very pleased to be able to announce that BSR have been selected to pursue these exciting projects, which will help us to extract the maximum energy value from our capped landfill estate.
This renewable energy technology will complement the existing energy plants operated on a number of our landfill sites, which contribute a significant amount of sustainable energy to the National Grid by capturing landfill gases.”
BSR Business Development Director, Giles Frampton said: “I am delighted that a company of the stature of SITA UK chose BSR to pursue these renewable energy projects on its portfolio of brownfield development sites.
We look forward to working closely with SITA UK over the coming months and ensuring that, jointly, we help to mitigate the looming energy crisis that is currently facing the UK.”