, a subsidiary of Martifer SGPS, developed a cluster of utility scale photovoltaic plants totaling 28.1 MWp in the United Kingdom. This is one of the largest clusters of utility scale solar PV plants ever built simultaneously in the country to date. As a testament to the superb engineering skills and experience of Martifer Solar, the construction of this cluster was completed in 15 weeks. These utility scale solar PV plants were constructed in Cornwall, Hampshire, Devon and Wiltshire, regions which boast the highest solar radiation levels in the country.
Martifer Solar has entered into an agreement with the UK’s largest solar energy generator, Lightsource Renewable Energy, who has purchased all five projects, already commissioned. The entire cluster of 28.1 MWp will be added to the Lightsource asset management portfolio in the UK whilst Martifer Solar will be retained under an operations and maintenance (O&M)
contract to ensure all five plants perform at optimal generation levels.
“With these projects, Martifer Solar assumes, in a very expressive way, a commitment to the solar and renewables industry in the UK. Following a first stage in which we completed the projects’ development/licensing, we are very proud with the conclusion of another challenging period, for the construction and commissioning of the plants. Again, our Company distinguishes itself in 2013, where we have even more ambitious goals, which will place ourselves as one of the main companies in the sector,” says João Cunha, Country Manager of Martifer Solar in the United Kingdom.
Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy says, “We are delighted to be working with Martifer Solar on this pioneering project. The entire cluster was completed on time, fitting in line nicely with the ROC (Renewable Obligation Certificate) changes from April onwards.”
The investor’s CEO adds that, “It has been made very clear in recent times that solar is a key component in the UK’s drive towards its renewable energy targets. We hope solar subsidies will continue at sensible levels to assist in making solar competitive with other energy sources and our goal of reaching grid parity within a predicted six years.
This would also help to build a stable and profitable industry that would no longer need to rely on government incentives by 2017. Renewable energy sources and schemes, such as this undertaken by Martifer Solar, need to become an integral part of our domestic power output if we are to achieve the Government’s target of 15% of the UK’s electricity being generated from renewable sources by 2020.”
With an installed capacity between 4.4 and 6.63 MWp, these plants, totaling more than 114,000 modules installed in ground mounted fixed structures, were installed in a total area of 75 hectares. The combined total of ‘green’ energy that will be produced by the entire cluster is estimated to be within the range of 27.74 GWh/year. This is sufficient ‘green’ energy to power over 18,000 inhabitants and save over 12,500 ton of CO2 annually.
“This project in the UK is the ultimate demonstration of Martifer Solar’s capability of adaptation to international markets. This is a key feature of our DNA, positioning Martifer Solar on the forefront of solar industry with 5-year consecutive positive results. What strengthens our credibility and solidness in a sector that faces constant changes,” says Henrique Rodrigues, CEO of Martifer Solar.
Martifer Solar has been present in the UK since February 2011. Recently, solar energy was elected as a strategic energy in the UK Renewables Roadmap, which target is to produce, until 2020, 15% of the energy mix from renewable sources. In that path, Mr. Gregory Barker, the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Minister said, at the Solar Roadshow in February 2013, that the country was approaching the threshold of 2GW for nationwide solar energy generation.