EDF Renewables UK has progressed to the site preparation and construction stage on two consented solar farms in the UK totalling almost 100MW. The projects are the 49.9MW each Burwell in South East Cambridgeshire, England, and Porth Wen in Anglesey, Wales. EDF said the expectation is that first generation will be in the fourth quarter of 2022. The company acquired the projects in March 2021 and since then has conducted environmental and ecological pre-construction surveys, finalised planning conditions and highway permits, appointed contractors and engaged with local stakeholders. A community liaison group has been set up for both projects to foster good links with local people, it added. Community benefit funds of £20,000 a year for each project will be available for good causes, and parish and community council involvement will ensure this flexible funding is used to support local priorities, which could be educational programmes, new kit for sports teams, biodiversity initiatives, and more, EDF said. Biodiversity improvements have been a focus at both sites and EDF Renewables UK has plans to implement wildlife corridors, plant new hedgerows, and, in the case of Burwell, establish 1.8 hectares of new reedbeds. EDF Renewables UK head of solar Ben Fawcett said: “At a time when tackling climate change and energy security are at the forefront of all our minds, EDF Renewables UK is pleased to have made good progress at these two sites. “Together, the projects will be capable of generating nearly 100MW of renewable energy every year. “The sites get plenty of sunshine and are near to a grid connection, making them excellent locations for solar.” In addition to Burwell and Porth Wen, EDF Renewables has 3GW of solar projects at different stages of development or in planning, including a solar farm in Redcar which will support an innovative green hydrogen project incorporating wind energy, in the Tees Valley.