Just seven weeks after being granted planning permission, Conergy Group has finished installing the UK’s largest solar plant. The 5MW free-field system is located in the parish of Hawton near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire and will feed back 4,860 MWh of electricity into the national grid.

Conergy’s new system, owned and developed by Lightsource Renewable Energy and funded by Octopus Investments, is considerably bigger than any other project in the UK, including Lightsource's previous largest project, a 1.4MW array in Truro, Cornwall. It was built with the help of local partner Lark Energy and is comprised of 21,600 Conergy PowerPlus modules.

Hawton is the latest in an ever-growing number of large-scale projects to be completed in the UK over the past month as developers rush to finish their installations before the feed-in tariff cut-off. “The project was clearly a race against time to meet the deadline of 31 July 2011 – but we made it, even more than two weeks beforehand thanks to our brilliant solar expert team”, said Robert Goss, head of Conergy UK.'

“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%,” Goss continued. “All parties showed great determination to support this exciting project which will be one of a very few large solar projects installed in 2011.”

Local residents lent their support to the project from the outset, with the vast majority of the parish coming out in favour of installing the record-breaking system. Goss added, “The Hawton park is yet another landmark project for Conergy in the long tradition of their large free-field solar parks all over the world.

“With this park, 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 FiT cuts on the one hand and due to our product portfolio and our experience ‘on the roof’ throughout Europe on the other hand.”