OPDE given green light for 10.8 MW UK solar farm


Spain’s OPDE has been granted approval to develop a new 10.8 MW solar PV farm in the English county of Somerset, augmenting the company’s U.K. solar footprint in the process.

Planning consent was granted today for the development of the solar farm, close to the town of Crewkerne. Earlier this year OPDE successfully connected a 12 MW solar plant in Alresford, Hampshire, and is also due to begin construction a 7 MW solar farm in Kent and a 9 MW PV project in East Sussex.

The company has targeted the growing U.K. market in recent months and has been eager to push through these latest large-scale solar PV projects ahead of the proposed subsidy cut planned for next year.

April 1, 2015 sees the removal of the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) for solar PV plants greater in size than 5 MW. This change in funding will make large-scale solar development in the U.K. less attractive. Its replacement, the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, has a much smaller pot of funds from which the industry can draw, and will serve to suppress the large-scale solar sector at a time when the industry is soaring.

Nevertheless, OPDE plans to install more than 200 MW of solar PV capacity in the U.K. over the next few years, and also has bold plans to develop projects in the emerging Latin American markets of Brazil and Mexico.