Western Solar has finished building work on one of the UK’s largest PV systems, reports Solar Power Portal. The 2MW project, located close to Rhos-Y-Gilwen mansion in North Pembrokeshire, cost £5 million and is comprised of 10,000 MiaSolé CIGS thin-film panels.
“It [the park] will deliver enough power to make most of this part of North Pembrokeshire carbon neutral,” said the project’s managing director Glen Peters. “The panels become like a solar vineyard, placed in rows around 4m apart.”
By granting Western Solar planning permission for the park, Pembrokeshire council became the first in Wales to agree to the building of a large-scale project. However, because of the Government’s decision to reduce feed-in tariffs for systems over 250kW to just 8.5p/kWh, it is also likely to be one of the last.
At present there are just two other large-scale solar projects in the pipeline in West Wales; a system near Cynheidre Colliery centre at Five Roads, in Llanelli, has already been given the green light and a similar scheme is planned for a site close to Ffos Las racecourse in Carmarthenshire.
Although Rhos-Y-Gilwen is one of the largest completed systems in the UK, it is dwarfed in size by countless numbers of plants in Europe and North America, and this situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future thanks the Government’s subsidy cuts.
The controversial legislation is also set to trigger a stampede of project developers with large-scale developments in the pipeline, desperate to finish their installations by the August 1 cut-off; this week both Lightsource and Ecotricity have completed MW-scale systems in Cornwall and Lincolnshire respectively.