Vogt Solar announced a coup with the completion of 10MWp of UK solar power before the crucial August 1 deadline on the premium feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for large-scale solar.
The company’s first seven UK power plants will avoid the 70% rate slash imposed after the government’s industry review, and will also be eligible for a controversial loophole allowing developers to receive the premium rate on extensions to capacity at the existing plants.
The seven solar farms range from 100kWp installations for local landowners in Sussex and Cornwall, to a 4.9MWp, 12.5 hectare giant producing electricity for 1,400 homes.
Situated on the site of the former Richborough Power Station beside crumbling cooling towers and next to an unused win turbine, the solar park gives a “sense of the potential of solar power”, according to head of business development David Hardy. It may also have given a sense of the nascent industry’s vulnerability to changes in government policy, given the recent outcry that FiT cuts for installations over 50kW will destroy large-scale solar in the UK.
Company director Anton Milner said Vogt had used “innovative financing” and “rapid realisation techniques” to respond to “the changed UK conditions”.
“Our teams have done a professional job under tight timing,” he said.
Chief executive Dagmar Vogt said he “looked forward to a shift in UK government position” so the company could continue to contribute to the UK renewable target by providing solar power to its citizens.
“[The] UK economy has benefited from millions of pounds of investment; CO2 savings in excess of 5,000 tonnes per annum; and enough safe, clean, green energy to power around 3,000 homes for the next 25 years,” he said.