OPDE begins construction of 30 MW UK solar projects


OPDE, a multinational clean energy developer headquartered in Spain, has announced that it has begun the construction of three solar farms in England that have a combined capacity of 30 MW.

Once completed and connected to the grid – scheduled between December and March 2016 – OPDE will boast a British solar portfolio of 70 MW, the company revealed.

The three solar farms are located in Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire; Crewkwerne in the county of Somerset, and in Iwade near Sittingbourne in Kent.

Already OPDE has a handful of solar farms connected to the U.K. grid, mostly sized close to 10 MW capacity and located in the southern parts of England. These additional three 10 MW solar farms will not be eligible for the U.K.’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme because they are each above the 5 MW threshold.

However, OPDE said that the projects remained a key part of the firm’s internationalization plan that will see more than 800 MW of new solar PV capacity added globally in leading and emerging solar markets, including Mexico, Chile and the U.S. Currently, OPDE has 225 MW of solar capacity installed or under construction in Italy (48.8 MW), Spain (105 MW) and the U.K. (70 MW).

"Our success in European markets has enabled us to expand significantly and undertake an internationalization process, especially successful in the U.K., a country where we have developed and built seven PV farms," said a OPDE statement.

Despite OPDE’s activity, the active solar landscape in the U.K. is in danger of looking increasingly barren as of next year as swingeing cuts to subsidy threaten to suppress growth across the board. Last week, the Solar Trade Association (STA) warned that as many as 27,000 of the 35,000 jobs related to the solar industry could be lost as these regulatory changes are enacted as of 2016.