Martifer Solar connects nearly 80 MW to UK grid


Martifer Solar has hooked up 78.4 MWp to the U.K. grid after completing its latest project in March.

The company said it completed the cluster, consisting of five plants built for Lightsource Renewable Energy, in record time, with a time-to-power of nine weeks, equal to almost 2 MW installed a day, and that despite the worst winter rainfall reported in the U.K. in 250 years.

The project brings to almost 110 MW of connected solar plants Martifer has built for Lightsource in the U.K. in the past year.

João Cunha, Martifer's U.K. country manager, said the successful completion of the 78.4 MW portfolio exemplified Martifer's "reliability and capability to overcome assumed project challenges." He added that "the implementation of almost 110 MW in one year represents an important milestone for the company as we transition from a strong EPC player to a lead developer of projects in the U.K."

In addition, Martifer has sold a total of 37 MW of fully-developed and commissioned PV plants and recently attained planning consent for Rydon Farm — an 11 MW site that belongs to the company’s previously announced 50 MW portfolio. The company aims to complete the remainder of the portfolio in the next several months.

Martifer has also begun the development of new portfolio of projects with a total capacity of some 100 MW in the U.K.

"The UK was one of our most successful markets in 2013 and is a true representation of Martifer Solar’s successful expansion into a fully-integrated PV player," said Martifer CEO Henrique Rodrigues. "As we continue working towards our key strategic objectives in 2014, we can expect more milestones and achievements that will reinforce the company's position as a credible and bankable partner in the PV industry and financial markets."

Market research group NPD Solarbuzz recently upgraded its forecast for the U.K. PV market to 2.5 GW in 2014 due to stronger than anticipated results in the fourth quarter of 2013 and an enduring confidence of project developers and investors in the market.

The U.K. is set to be the strongest European market in 2014 with a projection of approximately 700 to 900 MW of projects to be installed in the first three months. Based on this forecast and with the largest PV portfolio now connected, Martifer predicts a 9 to 11 percent market share in the first quarter of the year.

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