24 April 2013 – Conergy announced today the completion of a 4.5 megawatt solar farm at the end of March for Lightsource Renewable Energy. Conergy was the general contractor, responsible for engineering and layout, construction and component supply for the plant, which will be owned and operated by Lightsource for the next 25 years. Connection to the grid comes only weeks after Conergy supplied four other solar farms with a total capacity of 15 megawatts in the UK, which is experiencing rapid growth in large-scale solar deployment.
The new plant is located close to the village of Lovedean in Hampshire, southern England, and features 18,500 modules on Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems. The system will produce some 4,600 megawatt hours of clean solar power per year, sufficient to power around 1,350 homes.
First Conergy park for Lightsource generating 8% more power than forecast
Conergy and Lightsource previously partnered in 2011 on the UK's then largest solar farm, with 5 megawatts capacity, at Hawton Nottinghamshire, East Midlands. The Hawton solar farm was completed in record time and produced 8% more electricity than expected in its first year of operation.
Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource said "It has been a pleasure to work with Conergy again. We were faced with yet another tight deadline and they delivered. The results of solar PV installations in the first quarter of this year show we are well on track in achieving the government's target of 22GW installed by 2020. We have seen the industry grow from strength to strength in a very short space of time. It is my firm belief that the UK now has one of the most robust solar markets in the world in which Lightsource has played a significant role and will continue to do so alongside our industry partners. "
Solar farms paying off in the UK, thanks to Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs)
The number of large solar farms is growing in the UK due to government-mandated Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and solar-specific Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Renewable energy plant operators sell electricity to utilities at a fixed price under the PPAs, while for every megawatt hour generated, a solar farm receives two ROCs, which can be sold to utilities, large energy users or off-takers to meet government requirements.
Conergy UK MD Robert Goss: "Large-scale power plants are gaining in importance"
"Large-scale free-field solar plants are gaining in importance in the UK, driven by government targets for renewable energy generation," said Robert Goss, Managing Director of Conergy UK. "Energy prices meanwhile continue to rise, driving growth in residential installations and large-rooftop projects. Put together, we expect annual growth in UK solar of around 13% over the next few years."