UK: NextEnergy commissions 2 MW PV plant; realigns solar strategy

14. October 2011 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Becky Stuart

NextEnergy Capital’s two megawatt (MW) U.K. photovoltaic plant has been officially commissioned this week. The European merchant bank has now announced plans to manage and operate a number of other utility-scale projects across the country.

UK 2 MW solar photovoltaoc plant in Cornwall

The 2 MW photovoltaic plant took six weeks to complete. Image: NextEnergy Capital.

A spokesperson for the company told pv magazine that the system was constructed over a six week period in the summer by SolarCentury and juwi. Located in Newquay, Cornwall, the bank’s subsidiary, WiseEnergy, will manage its operations.

NextEnergy Capital did have further plans to install photovoltaics across the U.K. However, since the government slashed the country’s feed-in tariffs, it has since shelved them.

In order to continue operating in the U.K., the bank has now shifted its focus onto its asset management services. As such, WiseEnergy is currently in talks to manage and operate a "string" of other photovoltaic developments, which are owned by third parties.

The spokesperson would not release any specific project information. They did say though that negotiations are being held mainly with financial sponsors, "especially those who have invested in PV plants in Europe over the last few years and have, therefore, already experienced how the technical management is more intense than they initially thought."

WiseEnergy is convinced that through the active management of photovoltaic plants, they can perform "better than expected". When asked to elaborate, the spokesperson said that WiseEnergy employs such strategies as predictive maintenance and system re-designs to enhance plant performance.

They added that the company is also able to "mitigate the system downtimes through an active control on performance, which reduces response/intervention time."

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