German solar group Conergy has completed new large-scale solar power plants in the first three months of 2014 with a combined installed capacity of 68 MW in the U.K.
The company said it would as a result have an approximate 10 percent share of the total U.K. large-scale market after industry analyst NPD Solarbuzz forecast some 700 MW of new solar installations in Britain.
Despite historic heavy rain levels and flooding in the quarter — with January the wettest month since records began that delayed construction projects across the country, Conergy successfully completed all seven of its planned projects on time.
Alexander Gorski, Conergy’s global chief operating officer and CEO for Europe, said: "The British government’s framework offers stability and high visibility, and has encouraged a scaling up of investment in solar farms. This scale-up has driven a flight to quality from which Conergy is benefiting, with our fifteen years at the heart of the European solar industry. Despite challenging build conditions, we have delivered on our promises to investors and customers, and now stand as one of the leaders in the U.K. market."
Conergy sold five of the new solar farms to investors prior to completion. Primrose Solar Holdings acquired two in Dorset and one each in Norfolk and Wales, with a combined 39 MW of capacity — a portfolio developed jointly by Conergy and Camborne Energy. Bluefield Solar Income Fund bought a 19 MW plant in Wiltshire developed by Wirsol Solar UK, which was itself acquired by Conergy in January. The other two plants were built for direct customers. Conergy is contracted to operate and maintain all of the sites.
Andrew DePass, partner at Conergy’s U.S. parent company Kawa Capital Management, added: "Solar as an asset class is expanding in many countries but good regulation and a strong and innovative financial sector are helping create a robust UK market for long term investors. Supported by our acquisition of Wirsol Energy UK, Conergy is well placed to respond to this demand with a strong position in large-scale plant development, EPC and O&M."
Conergy built the U.K.’s first large solar farm (5 MW) in 2011 and has now built or supplied large-scale plants with installed capacity of more than 100 MW, enough to supply 28,750 households, or one in every thousand British homes.
Over the next twenty years, these plants are expected to generate two million megawatt hours of clean electricity, cutting carbon emissions by some 860,000 tons. With a pipeline of solar farms with 150 MW in further capacity, Conergy expects to its contribution to U.K. power generation and emissions reduction to further increase.
"Backed by Kawa Capital Management, Conergy is making great progress globally in scaling up our large ground-mounted projects business, right across the value chain, from development, design and build, through to operations and finance," Gorski added. "The rooftops business is likewise becoming increasingly significant in most markets, and is the next target segment for Conergy."