Harnessing solar power

Solar energy, alongside wind, will play a key role in achieving net-zero emissions. Solar is one of the cheapest and most reliable forms of electricity generation, particularly in light of innovations and technology advancements in recent years. 
As well as being used in large-scale solar farms, solar power is increasingly being harnessed by households and businesses in the form of rooftop solar panels and other smaller solar devices.

OnPath Energy Solar Farms

OnPath has obtained planning permission for two solar arrays along with other onshore wind and flexible energy projects.

2

solar farms in development

89MW

installed AC generation capacity combined

30,000

homes could be powered our two solar farms

How do solar farms work?

Solar farms are made up of multiple ground mounted solar panels grouped together. In the UK, our solar projects are typically positioned in open landscape and facing south to maximise the amount of direct sunlight they receive. The panels are constructed out of photovoltaic (pv) cells, which are made of semi-conductive materials like silicon.

When photons from sunlight hit the panels, they are absorbed by the electrons in the silicon and create an electrical field (known as the photoelectric effect), creating an electric current. This current is then passed into an inverter, where it’s changed from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The electrical energy is sent to a transformer that raises the internal site voltage from 400V to 11–33kV. The transformer then directs the electrical current through underground cables to the solar farm control building and substation, where the voltage can be further increased for export to the national electricity grid via cables and overhead lines. 

Our Common Farm Solar Energy Park in Rotherham will have an installed generation capacity of up to 49MWac, enough to meet the average electricity needs of around 18,000 family homes every year. The Solar Energy Park and would also displace over 11,470 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network each year. 

We are also in the process of developing Barnsdale Solar Park, just outside of Leeds, with an installed capacity of 40MWac.

Improving habitats around our solar farms

OnPath is committed to enhancing the nature surrounding our renewables projects. The land occupied by solar farms creates a safe place where nature and wildlife can flourish. The ground beneath and surrounding the solar panels be used for wildflower meadows and increased planting in hedgerows and field boundaries can bring both landscape and wildlife benefits to the sites.