UK adds 111 MW of solar in Q1 2017

The United Kingdom registered a newly installed PV capacity of 111 MW in the first quarter of 2017, according to provisional statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

In the first quarter of 2016, new additions totaled 1,543 MW. It must be remembered, however, that most of the country’s new PV capacity for last year was installed in March, just before the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme for large-scale renewable energy projects was closed to installations smaller than 5 MW.

New additions for March 2017 reached 41 MW, while new capacity for February and January was 30 MW and 40 MW, respectively. These numbers, however, are only provisional and will likely be revised upwards in the next monthly statistics. The main driver for last month’s growth, BEIS said, was the segment for PV projects ranging in size from 50 kW to 5 MW.

At the end of March, the country’s cumulative installed power was 11,858 MW, of which 11,963 MW is located in Great Britain, while another 151 MW is connected to North Ireland’s grid.

Most of this capacity was in the form of PV projects larger than 25 MW (1,399 MW), PV plants with a power range of 5 MW to 25 MW (4,201 MW) and systems ranging in size from 50 kW to 5 MW (2,829 MW). As for the residential and commercial segments, PV installations with a power of up to 4 kW represented the largest share with 2,481 MW, while PV systems with a power range of 4 kW to 50 kW account for the remaining capacity.

The cumulative PV capacity also comprises the first PV plant installed under the country’s Contracts for Differences (CfD) scheme, the Charity solar farm (11.9 MW).