UK’s most advanced hybrid solar farm completed for Warrington council

  • GRIDSERVE has now completed the third of its UK-leading technically advanced hybrid solar farms for Warrington Borough Council
  • Cirencester is the first large-scale and most advanced DC-coupled solar farm in the UK
  • Project delivers secure, affordable and plentiful energy supporting the transition to net zero
October 12, 2022

The project continues the nationwide expansion of subsidy-free renewable power, to meet the UK’s net zero carbon energy commitments.

At more than 88 acres, the equivalent to more than 50 football pitches, the 23 MWp Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm is the first DC-coupled solar farm of this size in the UK and the most advanced to be completed in the UK since GRIDSERVE’s York project in December 2019. Its pioneering commercial model uses battery storage and sophisticated technologies to maximise revenue and help balance the grid – both during the day with direct solar generation and at night with energy stored in the 51 MWh battery.   

Located in Witpit Lane, Cirencester, the 23 MWp solar farm includes more than 43,000 bifacial solar panels on trackers, co-located with 51 MWh of DC-coupled energy storage. This is one of the world’s most technically advanced solar farms, which has achieved a significant design feat to avoid multiple conversion processes, increase efficiency, and help balance the grid. The site will produce enough energy to drive over 88 million miles1 every year in modern electric vehicles, or put another way, will produce enough energy to drive more than a hundred thousand electric cars from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. 

The successful completion of Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm demonstrates how local authorities can partner with GRIDSERVE to deliver projects which cut carbon, supply zero carbon clean electricity, and fund essential Council services. Electricity from Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm will be used to help provide net zero energy for Warrington’s fleet of all-electric buses, coming next year, whilst a hybrid solar farm in York – handed over in December 2019 – is providing energy which can be sold into the grid. A third site in Hull is supplying all of the Council’s net zero energy needs, making Warrington Council the first local authority in the UK to produce all of its own electricity.  

Toddington Harper, GRIDSERVE CEO, said:
“It is our collective responsibility to tackle the climate change emergency. Projects like Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm require no government subsidy and deliver secure, affordable and plentiful energy. They demonstrate that the UK can meet its net zero obligations, and in partnership with Warrington Borough Council, enable us to deliver radical carbon reductions to move the needle on climate change in the fastest possible timeframes, and at the lowest cost.” 

Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for sustainability and climate change, Cllr Janet Henshaw, said:
“The completion of Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm is great news for Warrington. It will provide a huge boost to our ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency, reduce greenhouse emissions, and tackle fuel poverty in our borough. It will also provide enough net zero carbon energy to charge our fleet of all-electric buses when they are rolled-out next year.  

Investing in subsidy-free developments has been a landmark achievement for the Council. Each project has proven to be a solid strategic decision to ensure the borough’s future energy security. We look forward to working with GRIDSERVE to ensure Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm continues to generate optimal financial and environmental returns.”   

GRIDSERVE has deployed a number of sophisticated technologies to maximise efficiency and revenue for Warrington. These include bifacial solar panels, which generate electricity on both sides, as well as trackers which enable panels to follow the sun, maximising generation as well as stabilising output over the whole day. Together, these enhancements increase solar generation by around 20% compared to comparable solar farms that don’t employ these technologies. 

Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm joins two other hybrid solar + battery farms. The first, in York, includes a 35 MWp solar array and 30 MWh of battery storage. The other, in Hull, includes a 26 MWp solar array and 23 MWh of battery storage. GRIDSERVE will operate and maintain all three projects over their lifetimes to maximise system performance and value for the council. 


1. A typical 1MWp UK solar farm will generate 1 million kWh’s of energy (=1GWh) every year, across 4 acres of land (2 football pitches). Therefore 1 acre of land can generate 250,000 kWh of energy. A modern electric vehicle can drive 4 miles per kWh of energy, therefore 1 acre of land = 250,000 kWh x 4 miles per kWh = 1 million miles. A football pitch is approximately 2 acres therefore from this area of land approximately 2 million miles of EV charging miles can be generated every year.

2. Image credit: Above, Solar and Data Analytics

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GRIDSERVE is a tech-enabled sustainable energy business whose purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change. It has pioneered a Sun-to-Wheel ecosystem that includes the most advanced hybrid solar + battery farms, award-winning electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a customer-centric electric vehicle leasing platform.