21 February 2022

Dorset’s renewable energy ambitions given a boost with new grid connection

Rural landscape at the Stokeford site

The impact of green energy is set to increase in South Dorset thanks to a new renewable energy grid connection and cable infrastructure works, the first of its kind in the county.

By establishing a joint electricity grid connection, the Stokeford Renewables Grid Connection project will feed the national grid via an SSE substation in Wareham with renewable energy generated by large scale solar and wind generation at the Holme Estate in East Stoke.

For the UK to make the shift to renewable energy and achieve its goals of net zero emissions, increases in substation and grid connections are needed. In December 2021, Holme Mineral Processing Ltd successfully secured a £1.8 million loan from Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to carry out this important work and supply homes and businesses with electricity from local, renewable sources.

Will Bond, Director of Holme Mineral Processing Ltd, said: “Securing funding from Dorset LEP to create this grid connection is the crucial link for us as we develop our renewable energy supply for the local network. We are committed to producing innovative infrastructure and energy solutions which have real potential to unlock significant inward investment to the area.”

Electricity generated from renewable energy sources at the East Stoke site has the potential to supply up to 80% of Purbeck’s domestic electrical energy needs. That includes Wareham, Swanage, Bere Regis, Corfe Castle, and all places in between. This, says Will, is “a game changer for Purbeck and Dorset’s low carbon budget.”

Cecilia Bufton, Chair of Dorset LEP, said: “Grid connections such as this are vital for a greener future for Dorset’s residents, businesses and visitors. We are delighted to award £1.8m of Growing Places Loan funding to this project as another step towards achieve our renewable energy ambitions for Dorset.

“Our region’s potential to transition to low carbon energy is outlined in the Low Carbon Investment Opportunities document, which we published in 2021. I urge Dorset’s innovative R&D minds to review this document alongside their future plans”.

The loan from Dorset LEP will fund the build and electrical design of a new substation at the Stokeford Farm site, as well as the installation of a 6km long, high-capacity (30 mega-watt) cable under the riverbed near Wareham to connect to the existing SSE substation. Works are expected to take place over the upcoming spring and summer months and be completed by September 2022.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Renewable energy production is one of Dorset Council’s key areas of action within our Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy, but our current potential to deliver this growth is limited by Dorset’s existing energy infrastructure.

“Investment such as this is absolutely vital to ensure we can continue reducing our carbon footprint and I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work so far in helping to make this grid connection a reality.”

Find out more about this project at: www.dorsetlep.co.uk/stokeford-renewable-grid-connection.Stay up to date on this project and all things #DorsetNetZero on Twitter and LinkedIn and discover Dorset LEP’s ambitions to tackle climate change for the county to be net zero by 2050 at: www.dorsetlep.co.uk/dorset-net-zero.


Dorset LEP

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise, and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset. For more information visit the Dorset LEP website http://www.dorsetlep.co.uk/

Growing Places Fund

Dorset LEP was awarded £9.4m of the government Growing Places Fund (GPF) in 2015. It is a rolling loan scheme providing short-term repayable loans to kick start economic developments across Dorset. 

The fund supports key infrastructure projects designed to unlock wider economic growth, increase innovation and productivity, create jobs and housing, and deliver tangible economic outcomes. To date, 13 projects have been successfully awarded Growing Places Funding by Dorset LEP, which through the recycling of repayments and match-funding has seen £17.8m invested across Dorset.

Other projects benefitting from the GPF include: Agri-tech Innovation Centre, Cobham Gate, North Dorset Business Park and Dorset Green H2

Media enquiries on this news release to:

+44 (0) 1202 965868


> Headline News > Invest in Dorset > News Stokeford Renewables Grid Connection