The Jones Food Company has installed solar panels with a system size of 710kWp at what it calls the “world’s largest vertical farm”.

The vertical farm developer approached UK solar developer and asset manager Zestec Renewable Energy, which is owned by funds managed by Octopus Energy Generation, to support the renewable project located in Lydney, Gloucestershire.

A vertical farm involves growing crops in vertically stacked layers and has been touted as a means to bolster food security and produce food locally, sustainably and affordably. When coupling a vertical farm with renewable energy, this then drastically reduces the carbon footprint of the site.

For the project, Zestec worked alongside solar installer Inspired PLC to implement the solar system. The project’s generation capacity is 675,096kWh, and it will operate under a power purchase agreement (PPA) delivered by Zestec. The solar system has an export offer of 454kW.

It is worth noting that this is now the second solar system that is powering a Jones Food Company vertical farming unit. The first was installed at its site in Scunthrope and again was delivered by Zestec.

James Lloyd Jones, CEO of Jones Food Company, said: “Zestec has been a valued partner of Jones Food Company for five years. They’ve consistently provided our JFC1 vertical farm with reliable, high-performing solar panels, helping us power our operations with clean, on-site renewable energy. We’re proud to be collaborating again on our even larger JFC2 site, further solidifying this successful partnership.”

Zestec continues to expand its solar pipeline

In the Summer of 2021, Zestec entered into a partnership with Octopus Energy to deliver over £100 million of new build UK solar assets.

One of these projects included supporting the development of a 19.9MW solar plant at Glasgow Airport. This was achieved in partnership with the Ikigai Group, a consultancy firm.

The 40-acre ground-mount solar farm will be located on Glasgow Airport-owned land, next to Barnsford Road and will be owned and operated by Zestec.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.

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