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Chinese company turns over solar power plant to Britain

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LONDON, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese state-owned Avic International turned over a 12 megawatt solar power plant to a British company on Wednesday in London.

The spriggs solar farm, invested and built by Avic, situated near Saffron Walden, Essex, 70 km north of London. It has been connected to the grid since March and will generate 30,000 kilowatt-hours daily in summer time and provide electricity for 2,500 houses, which equal 23 tonnes carbon emission.

The delivery came as the British government approved eight major renewable energy projects, including offshore wind farms and conversions of coal-powered plants to run on biomass.

Those eight projects will all receive one of the government's Contracts for Difference (CfDs), which effectively guarantee prices for renewable energy suppliers.

These could cost up to 1 billion pounds (1.67 billion U.S. dollars) each year in subsidies, but the government says they would encourage firms to invest much more than that in low-carbon electricity generation.

"Clean energy is at the heart of the government's long term economic plan," said Minister of State for Climate Change Gregory Barker at the signing ceremony.

British solar industries was going from strength to strength and the country also had generated new financial products through financial innovation. The coupling of innovative financing with technology had made Britain such a exciting market for new energy efficiency business models, he said.

China, with its world class manufacturing, its global reach, and its focus on research and development, was a natural partner for Britain in new energy sectors, he added.

Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said in the ceremony that the project had created a successful new model of China-Britain business cooperation and it fully reflected the thriving cooperation between China and Britain in the energy sector.

Avic vice president Pan Linwu said that the success of this project had set a very good foundation for the state-owned company's investment in renewable energy in Britain and other European countries.

The 12 megawatt operating asset was sold to Foresight Solar Fund Limited, a British independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager.

The Avic also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sustainable Development Capital LLP on energy efficiency investment partnership in the ceremony.

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