The surge of large-scale solar installs caused by the removal of renewable obligation support for solar sites over 5MW was felt most keenly in the East of England, according to figures obtained by Solar Intelligence.

With Solar Media’s new Solar Intelligence team busy analysing its in-house resources and new survey results, plus newly-released data from Ofgem and DECC, the true scale of Q1 2015 deployment has become apparent.

In addition to the RAF Lyneham site at 69.5MW, Solar Power Portal can exclusively reveal the following insights on a number of other large solar farms (above 20MW) that were completed during Q1 2015. By far, the most action took place in the East of England region.

  • The third phase of a solar farm in the East of England was completed, bringing the total installed capacity above 60MW.

  • The fourth phase of another site in the East of England was finished, with the total installed capacity understood to be greater than 55MW.

  • Two separate sites – also in the East of England – were completed side-by-side by the same developer/EPC, for a total of 53MW.

  • A 52MW site was completed in the South East.

Our market intelligence can also reveal that there were two sites just below the 50MW level, five other sites in the 30-40MW band, and 13 in the 20-30MW range.

Over the past few months, a number of leading voices at the trade associations in the UK have been citing that the UK market reached 8GW by the end of March 2015, including an article just this week by Leonie Greene from the STA in The Telegraph. During Solar Media’s Doing Solar Business in the UK event in Munich last week, Ray Noble from the REA suggested that the UK installed the same amount of capacity in Q1’15 as it did during the whole of 2014.

Getting the correct figure for deployment during Q1’15 is critical for everyone involved in UK solar, including DECC, the National Grid, the DNOs – not to mention all developers, suppliers and investors active in the market.

Solar Media expects to conclude its survey analysis by the end of next week, finally revealing the true size of solar installed in the UK during Q1’15.