UK’s first CfD solar farm connected to grid

The first solar project under the government’s Contracts for Difference scheme has been connected to the grid.

Lightsource Renewable Energy said the £8.7 million solar farm in Shropshire, which received funding from the Royal Bank for Scotland, has an installed capacity of 11.94MW.

It will generate enough electricity to power more than 4,000 homes.

It was one of five solar projects to win support in the first round of the CfD auctions, which provides guaranteed payments to generators for the renewable energy they produce.

The Charity Farm installation won its contract with a strike price of £79.23 per megawatt hour.

All the power generated by the solar farm will be bought by supplier Axpo UK in a deal worth £7.5 million over seven years.

Earlier this year the government proposed  to exclude CfD projects from participating in future auction rounds for a longer period if they fail to deliver.

Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource said: “The project clearly demonstrates the many benefits of solar energy, above and beyond the generation of clean energy.

“A truly competitive system is fair to all concerned but there has been no new round of auctions announced for solar as yet and if the UK is serious about the future of its energy security, it is important that this is addressed. Great strides have been made in the industry and we firmly believe that solar has a significant role to play in the overall UK energy mix.”

Lightsource recently opened Europe’s largest floating solar array in Greater London and provided solar power and storage for the all-electric car race in Battersea Park.