Energy operation

Renewable energy


By owning and operating renewable energy sites, we generate power from sustainable sources and sell the energy produced either directly to consumers or to large networks. Many of our renewable energy sites also qualify for government incentives, which represent an additional source of income.


Government incentives for renewable energy are ‘locked in’ for a specified period once a qualifying site is operational and accreditation has been granted. This means that any changes to subsidies that are announced after incentives have been accredited would not be expected to alter the revenues generated by each site.


The long-term predictability of the income offered by the government incentives, and increasing consumer demand for energy supply, make renewable energy an attractive investment. And constructing and operating renewable energy sites can also be an attractive business where no government incentives are available.


Energy businesses


We own more than 160 solar energy sites, 5 biomass sites, 24 landfill gas sites, 5 windfarms and 3 reserve power sites.


Solar energy sites capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells. Our solar energy sites have been built on a commercial scale, so we don’t own small solar panels such as those found on the roofs of private homes. We are one of the UK’s largest producers of solar energy, and our solar sites produce more than 700 MWh per annum – enough energy to power every home in Bristol.


Our biomass plants convert chicken litter, straw, bone meal or waste wood into electricity, while the ash created in the process is converted into fertiliser that is used on farms.


Our landfill gas sites collect the gas that is produced when organic matter that has been deposited in the ground breaks down. We use this gas to power engines and create electricity. Find out more about our landfill gas and biomass business by visiting Melton Renewable Energy.


Our wind farms, like the Wryde Croft wind farm, operate on the simple principle that the wind turns around propeller-like blades, which spin a generator converting the energy into electricity.


Reserve power plants are not themselves a form of renewable energy, but they complement renewable energy by providing additional power at times when it is needed, and so they help to meet requirements at peak times.

Quick facts


    • If laid end to end, our solar panels would stretch from London to New York.
    • Producing electricity by burning methane from landfill rubbish sites is incredibly efficient from a greenhouse gas perspective. The methane burned by our sites is equivalent to taking almost 50,000 cars off the road each year.