Solarcentury to build 10.2 MW solar park in Somerset, UK


British solar company Solarcentury has been chosen by renewable energy power company Belltown Power to build, develop and maintain a 10.2 MW solar park in the southern English county of Somerset, U.K.

Located at Watchfield Farm, the plant is expected to be connected to the grid by the end of February 2014 and will benefit from the U.K. government’s Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) rate of 1.6.

To ward off potential local opposition to the plant, new hedging will be fitted around the site in order to screen it from view, while the size of the plant – and the short installation time – means that it will start feeding clean solar electricity into the grid shortly. Work has already begun on the construction of the plant.

"The quality and sustainability of our builds continues to put us ahead of the competition and has helped Solarcentury to win the confidence of another investor," said Solarcentury CEO, Frans van den Heuvel. "We share Belltown Power’s commitment to helping the U.K. cut its dependency on fossil fuels and meet its renewable energy generation 2020 target. We hope to work with Belltown again on more solar parks – even at 1.4 ROCs, solar parks make economic sense.”

The CFO of Belltown Power, Tom Hill-Norton, added: "This is an important project for us – Belltown’s first solar project – so our EPC selection criteria were weighted towards established UK contractors with a highly relevant track record.

"We were impressed by Solarcentury’s experience in acting as EPC provider for similar solar parks and the company’s heritage in the UK solar industry. We have enjoyed working with Solarcentury on this project and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Solarcentury on other solar sites."

In total, Belltown has set a target of 30 Mw of installed renewable energy in the near future, including solar PV plants, wind farms and hydropower.