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6 July 2024

Conrad Energy’s Larport Solar Farm starts producing energy to help decarbonise BNP Paribas’ UK operations

Larport Solar Farm has started producing energy.

Larport Solar Farm is a 45MW project owned by Conrad Energy and located in Herefordshire, England. It generates roughly 44,000 MWh annually for a private off-taker, BNP Paribas while offsetting circa 9,500 tonnes of CO2 per year.

With over a decade of experience designing and delivering solar projects globally, Ethical Power was selected as the principal contractor to deliver engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services, as well as Operation and Maintenance (O&M) once the site is live.

Below is the joint press release Ethical Power and Conrad Energy put out following the Larport Solar Farm opening ceremony.

June 2024: The UK’s largest flexible energy provider Conrad Energy has announced that its Larport Solar Farm has started producing energy. The Herefordshire solar farm is expected to produce 40,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually. 

The solar farm was switched on at a ceremony attended by senior figures from Conrad Energy, including CEO Steven Hardman, principal contractor Ethical Power and CEO Tom Kneen, and representatives from BNP Paribas, including the UK Country Head Emmanuelle Bury. The bank, which is a founding member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, will use the energy generated to decarbonise its UK operations. The farm is projected to save around 375,000 tonnes of carbon energy over the course of its 40-year lifecycle, with the power sleeved to BNP Paribas via an initial 15-year Power Purchase Agreement. 

The design of the farm was developed in consultation with the local community, with the final proposal described as an ‘exemplar’ by the Chair of Herefordshire Planning and Regulatory Committee. With 40 hectares of native wildflower grassland having been created during the construction of the project, and pairs of rare native black poplars having also been planted, the project provides the local community with significant biodiversity net gain.  

Meanwhile, during the construction of the farm, Conrad Energy fitted solar panels to the roof of the nearby Mordiford Church of England Primary School, which will help reduce energy costs through the provision of locally generated renewable energy. 

Principal contractor Ethical Power delivered design optimisation and full-wrap engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for Conrad Energy’s Larport Solar Farm. Ethical Power will also provide operation and maintenance services for the site.  

Tom Kneen, CEO of Ethical Power, comments: 

“The delivery of Larport Solar Farm was full of challenges, but thanks to our unique vertical integration, we could complete the construction on time and to the highest standards, despite one of the wettest winters on record. It was the power of people that made Larport happen, both within Ethical Power and our exceptional partnership with Conrad Energy.”  

Steven Hardman, CEO of Conrad Energy, comments: “The switching on of the Larport Solar Farm is an important moment for both Conrad Energy and BNP Paribas. We have found in the bank a company that shares our commitment to help the UK realise its net-zero ambitions. Solar has a significant role to play in the energy transition and so I look forward to seeing further projects switch on in the future.” 

Emmanuelle Bury, UK Country Head, BNP Paribas, comments: “BNP Paribas is already known as the bank helping finance the energy transition, and our agreement with Conrad Energy demonstrates our commitment to living our values. It is a vital step on the path to net zero banking.” 


You can find out more about Larport Solar Farm here.