By Isabella Kaminski
Conergy has completed the solar power plant in Hawton, Nottinghamshire, which it claims is the biggest in the UK. The 5 MW free-field park was built together with Conergy’s local partner Lark Energy just 6 weeks after receiving planning permission. The Hawton project is owned and has been developed by Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd with funding from Octopus Investments.
The installation covers an area of 14.6 hectares. 21,600 Conergy PowerPlus modules were installed on approximately 40 km of Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems. Annually, the premium modules will produce 4860 MWh of electricity – enough to supply 1300 homes.
Robert Goss, Head of Conergy UK, says: “The project was clearly a race against time to meet the deadline of 31 July 2011 – but we made it. 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%.”
According to Conergy, local residents supported the project from the beginning. Community research conducted prior to the installation showed that 100% of the respondents generally favoured the idea of solar energy as a clean, renewable energy solution with no emissions. 92% of those who came to an open event in March 2011 supported the Hawton solar park.
Goss says: “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 [feed-in tariff] cuts on the one hand and due to our product portfolio and our experience ‘on the roof’ throughout Europe on the other hand.”