Solarcentury’s UK ground-mount business has reached a significant 140MWp of large-scale solar farm sites for the ROC year 2015/16. Some of these systems are already connected to the grid, and the remainder will be connected by the end of March 2016. This means Solarcentury has now constructed close to 600MWp of ground-mount sites in the UK in recent years, of which 250MWp are projects the company has developed itself.
The 140MWp of projects includes a 40MWp portfolio of 5MWp sites developed by Solarcentury and sold to investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund with Solarcentury constructing these projects as EPC contractor. This furthers the relationship with Bluefield, adding to the projects sold to Bluefield in previous years. Solarcentury is also constructing a 40MWp site in Hampshire for UK-based investor Golden Square Energy. The remaining 60MWp of projects are sites of 5MWp or less for which Solarcentury is acting as EPC for a range of clients, all of which will qualify for either 1.3 ROCs or the feed-in-tariff.
Tim Rose, European commercial director at Solarcentury commented, “We are continuing to work with a wide range of clients for our sizeable ground-mount business in the UK. Securing this amount of ground-mounted solar is impressive given the uncertainties created by the government’s sudden policy changes. This healthy project target for the current ROC year, representing more than 20 different sites, shows us that many customers and investors continue to value our experience and quality of build for utility scale projects. It also reflects our good relationships with the regional grid operators, with whom we continue to work very closely.”
As part of Solarcentury’s commitment as a responsible developer, each site has a specific biodiversity management plan outlining the wildflower seeds and hedgerow plants to be sown, to support local wildlife. As well as generating clean energy, the company aims to create biodiverse wildlife havens, capable of supporting a range of local species.
Neil Perry, CFO at Solarcentury commented, “Solarcentury continues to view the UK’s solar industry as a viable market, despite the government’s shift in support away from solar. At the same time as building more ground-mounted solar farms in the UK, we are also continuing to grow our international businesses across Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Adding 140MWp of capacity to the grid helps diversify the UK’s energy supply, which reduces reliance on imported fossil energy. Building this level of solar capacity in the UK grid furthers our company mission: to promote the widespread adoption of solar in order to reduce carbon emissions and alleviate climate change.”
Solarcentury will be undertaking O&M on all sites.