AN electricity company that was slammed for announcing an 11-year delay for a new huge solar farm in the area has spoken out.

Wokingham Borough Council’s proposals for new solar farms have been put at risk following an announcement that connections to the National Grid could be delayed until 2037 - 11 years after the original completion date in 2026.

The local authority raised concerns after the announcement. Chief Executive at Wokingham Borough Council, Susan Parsonage, said: “We were incredibly frustrated and angry to receive the notification of delays from SSEN. We have been working closely with them on our proposals before and since entering into a contractual agreement and at no point did SSEN express any concerns over capacity or timings. To suddenly announce a delay of this length is simply unacceptable. 

“No real explanation has been given, other than that National Grid need to complete some works which will apparently take more than 11 years."

Read more: 'Frustrated' council hits back after plans for a new solar farm are delayed

The electricity company has since responded to the 'frsutrations' and said transmission levels need to be improved to allow for the projects to go ahead.

A spokesperson from SSEN commented: "Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is committed to providing the electricity distribution network infrastructure required to deliver net zero and works closely with its customers, communities and local authorities to help them achieve their decarbonisation aims.

"SSEN is responsible for the Distribution works being carried out in relation to this project and - throughout the process - project timelines have been communicated with the customer. Following completion of National Grid’s technical study, they have confirmed that transmission level works are required for the connection of this project. Those works, on which the project is dependent, are scheduled to be complete by 2037.

"SSEN remains in conversation with the customer to ensure all updates on progress are conveyed.

"As distribution operator for central southern England, we would like to reassure our customers and stakeholders that we are working closely with Transmission network colleagues at National Grid on projects across our licence area, to try and alleviate grid constraints. Additionally, SSEN continues to work with the regulator and Government to facilitate longer term strategic investment in our networks."

Installation of the council’s first solar farm at Barkham was due to start on-site later this year.

Work has currently been paused whilst the council takes legal advice regarding its contractual arrangements and discusses the situation further with SSEN and the National Grid to seek a resolution to the delay.