UK: Primrose Solar and EDF Energy sign 104 MW PPA

The bulk of solar PV capacity installed in the U.K. by British renewable energy developer Primrose Solar will be bought by French utility EDF after it emerged today that the two companies have signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The deal sees EDF agree to an inflation-linked, minimum price-guaranteed PPA for 104 MW of solar energy from Primrose Solar’s PV installations. The developer currently has 156 MW of solar PV capacity deployed in the U.K. across nine large-scale plants. A tenth – a 28 MW solar farm – is currently under construction and Primrose Solar is confident that it can be completed and connected before April 1, which is the cut-off point for eligibility to the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC).

As owner of two of the U.K.’s largest PV plants, including the recently completed 48 MW Southwick Estate solar farm in Hampshire, Southern England, the PPA with EDF is a reassuring guarantee of a stable income for many years.

According to EDF’s director of business services John Cockin, the deal serves to alleviate the concerns that some solar developers might have when contemplating the U.K. market.

"We’re always keen to work with low-carbon generators . The risk that lenders attach to the volatile nature of wholesale power prices can limit a renewable developer’s ability to raise capital for expansion," Cockin said. "By guaranteeing some of Primrose Solar’s income with a floor price, we are able to remove a significant portion of that risk for them."

Giles Clark, Primrose Solar’s chief executive, added: "We’re very pleased to be working with EDF Energy as a provider of secure, long-term agreements for the sale of the power that we generate at our solar farms."