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Sun shines on solar with 2.2GW auction success

Solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totalling 2209MW of capacity have been allocated support under the latest UK Contracts for Difference (CfD) Round 4.

The strike price for solar PV projects in Pot 1 was £45.99 per megawatt-hour for projects due online in 2023/24 and in 2024/25.

Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK, said today’s announcement of over 2GW of solar capacity secured in CfD4 “cements solar as a major part of the solution” to Britain’s energy security crisis.

He said solar and wind are now “undeniably” the cheapest, as well as the cleanest, ways to power the country.

Hewett added CfDs are only one way to deliver solar.

“There are many solar farms already under construction that will sell their power direct to the market, and rooftop installations are cutting corporate and household energy bills.”

Over 65 individual solar PV projects were selected.

The biggest of the projects by capacity is the 112MW Cleve Hill Solar Project in Kent, south-east England, which was acquired by Quinbrook Partners from Hive Energy in October 2021. It is due online in 2023/24.

Other projects to secure CfD support include Yelvertoft Solar Farm (49.9MW) in Northampton, owned by Bluefield Solar Income Fund, due for commercial operation in 2024/2025, Hasland Solar Farm (49.9MW), in Derbyshire, being developed by Kronos Solar, and Brigstock Solar Farm (49.9MW) being developed by ScottishPower Renewables.

Other developers to secure projects in the latest CfD auction include Lightsource BP for its 40MW Thorpe Bank project, the 40MW Cowley House project and the 49.9MW Inkersall Grange Solar Farm.

JBM Solar secured several projects, including the 49.9MW Wick Farm and the 49.9MW Corner Copse.

Most of the projects are located in England, while Scottish projects selected include the 20MW Speyslaw project and the 49.9MW Milltown Airfield scheme.

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