UK developer PS Renewables has claimed the UK solar industry has reached grid parity for large-scale solar farms.
Grid parity is the point where an alternative energy source — in this case large-scale solar — can generate power at a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) less than or equal to purchasing conventional electricity from the grid. PS Renewables believes that it can now build large-scale solar farms without the need for any subsidy, which for the company means that “the UK has hit grid parity.”
Specifically, PS Renewables is building the Eveley Solar Farm in Houghton, Hampshire, in the UK, which is one of the current and future projects under PS Renewables’ wings that will provide energy under new Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) PS Renewables is negotiating. Approved by Test Valley Borough Council on 27th July 2015, the Eveley Solar Farm is set to begin construction soon, and will take around 5 months to build, at which point it is expected to be able to generate the equivalent electricity necessary to power 12,000 average homes.
“What’s exciting is that we no longer have intense deadlines,” said Matt Hazell, the Commercial Sales Director. “A number of our approved and large development projects, including Eveley Solar Farm, can now be built at any time in the future, allowing us to accommodate requests or factors which sometimes delay projects, such as planting seasons, winter working hours, or last minute community requirements, needing to be implemented before construction starts”
“This is not just important for us, it’s likely to be very important for the whole of the UK solar sector, as we’re now not reliant on hitting very tight timelines and critical milestones in order to be eligible for FIT or ROC’s,” Hazell continued. “Due to our steady reductions in panel prices, lower cost inverters, mounts, cable and project rights, we can look to build utility scale solar under a straight PPA arrangement. Now utility solar projects can push forward if they have the planning approved, grid allocated, enough scale and an EPC with the build experience like PS Renewables have.”