UK: Solarcentury reaches 140 MW milestone under current ROC year

Under the current U.K. Renewable Obligation Certification (ROC) scheme, which began on April 1 last year, British solar company Solarcentury has installed 140 MWp of ground-mounted solar farms, the firm revealed today.

These past 12 months, ostensibly challenging for much of the U.K. solar industry in the wake of the savage subsidy cuts inflicted by government, have proven fruitful for Solarcentury, which will end March this year with close to 600 MW of large-scale solar PV installed across the country.

Over the past year, 45 MW of Solarcentury’s 140 MW tally was developed and sold to investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund, with Solarcentury acting as EPC contractor. The firm also built a 40 MW solar park in Hampshire for Golden Square Energy, while the remaining 60 MW sites were 5 MWp or smaller in order to be eligible for the ROC at the rate of 1.3 ROC, or the feed-in tariff. For these projects, Solarcentury was EPC for a range of clients.

Beyond the ROC deadline of April 1, Solarcentury will "continue to work with a range of clients for sizeable ground-mount business in the U.K.," confirmed the company’s European commercial director Tim Rose. "Securing this amount of ground-mounted solar is impressive given the uncertainties created by the government’s sudden policy changes," he said.

As the U.K. solar landscape shifts, making it more difficult to eke profits out of traditional large-scale solar farms, Solarcentury has sought to diversify what it can bring to the market, not least in terms of ensuring each of its sites is built according to a specific biodiversity management plan.

Solarcentury CFO Neil Perry added that despite the government’s cuts, the U.K. market remains "viable", and he revealed that the company will continue to build more ground-mounted solar farms in the country. "We are also continuing to grow our international businesses across Europe, African and Latin America."