Network Rail has announced a solar power agreement with EDF Renewables UK to achieve a greener railway network for Britain.
The energy will be procured from EDF Renewables UK’s Bloy’s Grove solar farm in Norfolk. The site was granted planning approval in June.
Under the contract, the firm will offer 49.9MW of renewable energy to account for nearly 15% of Network Rail’s annual consumption of non-traction energy utilised in railway stations, depots and buildings.
The latest agreement is also in line with Network Rail’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy. It will enable the company to attain its 2030 target of sourcing 100% of non-traction energy from renewable sources.
Under its Environmental Sustainability Strategy, Network Rail focuses on offering a low-emission railway service that is resilient to climate change, uses sustainable materials, as well as enhances biodiversity.
Meanwhile, EDF Renewables UK will collaborate with the local community and the council for the construction and operation of its solar farm. The company will construct, own and operate the farm until the project lasts.
The company will also provide a £20,000 community benefit fund annually in this regard.
Network Rail chief environment and sustainability officer Jo Lewington said: “Rail is already in a strong position in terms of its green credentials, but it’s crucial that we do everything we can as a business to improve air quality, minimise our use of fossil fuels, and transition to an industry powered by green, renewable, low-carbon energy.
“Our vision is to serve the nation with the cleanest, greenest form of public transport and this agreement marks another important step towards achieving our aims.”
EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue said: “We are very pleased to be working with Network Rail to help them on their journey to decarbonisation.
“This project shows the ability of EDF Renewables UK to provide diverse solutions for customers in terms of low-cost renewable electricity.”