Conergy Group has finished work on the UK’s largest solar power park. The 5MW free-field system, located in the tiny parish of Hawton in Nottinghamshire, is made up of 21,600 Conergy PowerPlus modules and took just six weeks to install.
Hawton’s new system, owned and developed by Lightsource Renewable Energy and funded by Octopus Investments, is considerably bigger than any other project in the UK, including Lightsource's previous largest project, a 1.4MW array in Truro, Cornwall. It is the latest in an ever-growing number of large-scale projects to be completed in the UK over the past month as developers rush to finish their installations before the July 31 feed-in tariff deadline.
Planning permission for Conergy’s park was only granted on May 24, and Conergy’s local partner Lark Energy faced a race against time to complete it in time. “We finished the system more than two weeks before [the FiT deadline] thanks to our brilliant solar expert team”, said Robert Goss, head of Conergy UK. “The deadline was imposed by the recent review of the feed-in tariff incentive payments for large-scale solar projects that are to be slashed by 72%. All parties showed great determination to support this exciting project which will be one of a very few large solar projects installed in 2011.”
Local residents lent their support to the project from the outset, with the vast majority of the parish in favour of installing the record-breaking system. Goss added, “The Hawton park is yet another landmark project for Conergy in the long tradition of their large free-field solar parks all over the world.
“With this park, our solar experts have shown that we are able to build large-scale projects also in the UK, even though our core business and focus is and will be on roof-top installations. This is due to the FiT cuts on the one hand and due to our product portfolio and our experience ‘on the roof’ throughout Europe on the other hand.”