Solar power private wire agreements: A way to fix power costs for 20 years

Nick Boyle: Private wire agreements can slash energy costs
Nick Boyle: Private wire agreements can slash energy costs

If I said to a CFO, “I will fix your transport costs or employment costs for the next 20 years”, they’d rip my arm off. So why not power, asks Nick Boyle, CEO Lightsource Renewable Energy, in this sponsored post.

Given the choice, any sensible business will put into place appropriate measures to hedge against the rising costs of operations; from employment and transport costs to capital expenditure and beyond.

Call it the ‘light bulb moment’ if you will, but surely it makes good business sense to approach electricity costs in the same way. With volatile wholesale prices, rising non-commodity costs and a drive in consumer demand for green credentials –Why not look to buy your electricity from a renewable source with zero fuel cost and therefore zero price volatility???

We’re entering a new world of electricity supply and the old mind-that energy costs can only be future-proofed for 12 or 18 months – is now obsolete. Solar power is turning this legacy approach on its head, which is great news for major energy users.

Fixing electricity costs is a no-brainer and this can be achieved via a Lightsource private wire energy agreement.

Lightsource can offer significant savings when compared to grid sourced electricity and provide long-term cost certainty without interruption to your day to day business. You don’t need to allocate any roof or ground space, simply indicate your interest to procure solar power and Lightsource takes care of the rest.

The price of electricity from a solar park connected directly to a high energy site is lower than the cost of grid delivered electricity, this is because electricity supplied via a direct connection is not subject to grid transmission & distribution costs nor government levies. All you have to do is pay the agreed price for the solar electricity supplied, which will typically be 30% of your site annual electricity demand.

Our most recently completed project with Belfast International Airport is a typical example of a private wire energy agreement.

Crookedstone Road Solar Farm & Belfast International Airport
Crookedstone Road Solar Farm & Belfast International Airport

A 4.84MW Lightsource funded and developed solar farm connects directly into the airport’s private network. The solar plant generates around 4,000 megawatt hours a year – equivalent to the annual consumption of around 1,200 homes – meeting 27% of the airport’s annual energy demand and within the first month operational costs were down 23%.

As you look out of the window at a cloudy sky, you might question whether solar is viable in the UK?

The thing to remember is, the productivity of solar generation is based on the amount of light there is during the day – not the amount of sunshine. Even in the “not-so-sunny” UK, Lightsource has invested £2 billion in just five years, with installations generating over 1.3 GW (enough to power 350,000 homes).

A number of large companies including BT, Hanson, Thames Water, Bentley Motors and many of the automotive manufacturers are already buying renewable electricity on long term contracts from solar parks located near to their sites. So it is clear that this is attractive to large energy users who are looking for real cost savings and long term price certainty.

So, the proposition is pretty simple – a private wire energy agreement with Lightsource truly is a win-win. Major energy users can reduce their cost of power and fix electricity pricing long-term, whilst improving sustainability credentials, all this with no capital outlay and no interruption to day-to-day business.

This is the new age of electricity supply of future pricing certainty, why wouldn’t you take back control?

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