Conergy UK creates rooftop division as British solar market matures

One of the leading solar farm developers in the U.K. has announced today the creation of two internal divisions in the company in a move designed to maximize the potential of the country’s maturing solar market.

Conergy UK has split its operations into a dedicated solar farm operation and a new rooftops division, which will focus exclusively on the development of residential and rooftop solar arrays in the U.K.

To achieve its ultimate goal of replacing MW of ground-mount solar with rooftop solar – as revealed to pv magazine in an exclusive interview with Conergy UK MD Robert Goss in December – the company has secured the appointment of some of the most respected and experienced individuals in the British real estate and energy management landscape.

Joining Conergy’s rooftop division is Paul Weaver, who previously worked as head of energy for London-listed infrastructure multinational Balfour Beatty plc. Weaver has experience of working in the renewable energy arms of both the private and public sector, and will head-up Conergy’s rooftop division as director.

Working alongside Weaver in the team will be Christelle Lawson as business development manager. Lawson previously worked as sales manager for Kingspan Energy, in charge of commercial rooftop PV systems. The solar farms team will be led by long-time Conergy executive Birgit Eggl.

Conergy’s decision to spin-out a dedicated rooftops division is indicative of the changing attitude to solar in the U.K. Having led Europe in installations in 2014 – driven largely by ground-mount – 2015 sees a change in subsidy policy from April 1 that will make arrays larger than 5 MW less financially attractive for developers.

In preparation, Goss told pv magazine last December that the company eventually seeks to seamlessly transition its team across from ground mount to rooftop – a strategic decision that reveals a great deal about the largely untapped potential of the U.K.’s rooftop sector.

"Today we’ve announced Conergy’s commitment to invest in the scale-up of solar rooftops across the U.K.," said Goss. "First, we have brought together the best team in the country. Second, we will start bringing new capital to the market, which we will invest strategically, in new and scalable business models. This will give us a strong position across all market segments in the U.K., alongside our long-standing leadership in solar farms."

Worldwide, Conergy has developed a 700 MW portfolio of rooftop installations, and earlier this month entered into an agreement with municipal utility network Trianel to offer solar leasing solutions to six million homes across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

"There’s a rooftop solar solution for everyone in the U.K., whether you’re a tenant or property, live in the north or south, or are in the public or private sector," said Paul Weaver. "Conergy offers the full range of professional and technical service, including finance, roof leasing, PPA, hire purchase, commissioned EPC, and industry-leading O&M.

"Make no mistake: rooftop solar is going to happen in a big way in Britain."