A 5MW solar power plant, adjacent to Newquay Cornwall Airport that would owned by the council, could get the go ahead at a full-council meeting to be held next week. The project would be the first of its kind in the UK and could set the benchmark for other regional councils to generate local jobs and meet carbon emission reduction goals. The Cornish council had previously prepared plans that half of the council’s electricity needs could come from solar energy and provisionally has plans for six 5MW council owned solar parks.

Solar Power Portal has investigated numerous large-scale projects that are currently in the planning stage, especially many that are seeking land and planning permission in Cornwall. At least 50 projects needing planning permission have been filed, due to the region having the highest irradiance levels in the UK and ensure project investors the highest financial returns.

Although costing for the project is estimated at above £10 million the project has yet to go to tender. The competitive position in the UK solar market has changed considerably since the previous government introduced the first feed-in tariff in April, 2010.

Companies from Europe and in particular Germany, where the largest number of solar installations exist in the world are increasingly eying the UK as a key new market. Their expertise of large-scale project developments and long-established supply-chain agreements with the major solar module manufacturers means that competitive pricing with mainland Europe is possible in the small but fledgling UK market.