Hanwha Q Cells adds 45.2 MW to its UK solar footprint


Hanwha Q Cells – the South Korea-headquartered producer of solar modules – has increased its downstream footprint further this week having closed financing on the acquisition of two large-scale solar farms in the U.K.

Having secured financing for $61 million from Bayerische Landesbank, Hanwha Q Cells purchased the 24.8 MW Green End and the 20.4 MW Fenland solar farms in the English county of Cambridgeshire – adding a combined 45.2 MW to the company’s U.K. PV portfolio.

The two solar farms were connected to the U.K. grid in March this year, and are thus eligble for the renewable obligation certificate (ROC) at a rate of 1.4 MW/ROC. French utility EDF Energy has agreed to purchase the energy generated by the solar farms via a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Germany’s Bayerische Landesbank provided the non-recourse loan to enable the purchase – an arrangement that Hanwha Q Cells’ VP EMEA project finance Jose Joaquin Munoz Osuna called a "win-win" for both companies.

"With this transaction complete, we can now focus on our expanding activities in developing, constructing and acquiring further renewable generation assets," he added.

EDF Energy business service director John Cockin said that the PPA was a further demonstration of the utility’s commitment to low carbon generation in the U.K.

Entu exits UK solar market

While EDF Energy and Hanwha Q Cells remain intent on exploring solar opportunities across the U.K., home improvement firm Entu this week announced it is to exit the U.K. solar market, citing "challenging conditions" as a result of last week’s announcement that the government is to slash the feed-in tariff (FIT) by up to 87%.

The company confirmed that it will discontinue its retail solar arm on the basis that it expects the solar environment to become straitened following the regressive proposals. Entu expects it will lose around $3 million from its solar operations in the U.K. this year

"The prospects for our solar business have deteriorated dramatically over the last six months, and we have taken a decision that I have no doubt will be seen to be correct," said Entu CEO Ian Blackhurst.