Eastleigh, U.K.-based solar developer INRG Solar has announced bold plans to install more than 100 MW of large-scale PV capacity in the country before March 31, 2015 the day before planned cuts to the Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) are introduced.
INRG Solar, which recently completed a 5 MW PV plant in the southern English county of Dorset, said that the sites it has identified could cater for as much as 200 MW of PV capacity, if fully realized. The company has already secured grid connection deals for this amount on these sites, said an INRG Solar press release.
Having secured private funding for its 100 MW plans, company commercial manager David Dean has expressed INRG Solars desire to bolster its pipeline further.
"We have a healthy pipeline but, as always, we are keen to add to it with 5 MW sites and above," he said. "5 MW sites are very attractive at the moment and we are having an increase in enquiries of these 30 acre-size developments."
Currently, the U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is reviewing a proposal to remove the ROC support for all projects that are larger than 5 MW from April next year as it switches it support and focus to the smaller-scale market, including rooftop.
During the DECC’s consultation stage there have been warnings that the government could also block ROC support for projects below 5 MW if the sector was deemed to be surging at a pace the DECC was not comfortable with.
Official literature from the department has hinted at the application of "stricter controls than those proposed in this consultation document if evidence indicates that solar PV deployment poses a bigger budgetary threat than we estimated at the time that we launched this consultation."
Despite this uncertainty, the U.K. is widely considered to be on course to become the biggest solar PV market for Europe this year, with analysts expecting new PV capacity of anywhere between 3.5 GW to 5.5 GW to be installed before the end of the fiscal year.