Europe Solar Utility (ESU) has announced the sale of 3.74MW of operating solar built on land and buildings owned by Thames Water.

The solar parks, at three Thames Water sites near London, cover an area equivalent to more than 10 football pitches and provide an annual output of up to 3,500MWh of electricity – enough to run around 750 average-size homes. The energy generated is expected to slash £100,000 a year off Thames Water’s electricity bill.

ESU were able to procure, design and install the first phase of the solar project before the August 1 deadline, qualifying the project for the higher feed-in tariff rate of 30.7p. After the August deadline the FiT rate for large-scale plummeted by 60 percent to just 8.5p.

Patrick Charignon, CEO of Europe Solar Utility, said: “The successful sale of our Thames Water project validates our strategy of financing and implementing industrial scale pre-construction solar PV plants and selling the operational assets on to long-term financial and industrial investors. We have shown that we can efficiently put capital to work during the construction phase to bring the projects of this type to completion quickly and even to the very tight deadlines imposed by the UK’s changing regulatory environment.”

Following the sale, ESU will continue to be involved in the on-going management of the installations working alongside the new owner to ensure their optimal performance and the continued supply of clean, renewable electricity to Thames Water.

Charignon concluded: “Future projects of this scale have been put in doubt by the UK Government’s proposed cut to the feed-in-tariff rate. However, utilities may still gain the benefits of solar PV through installations built around power purchase agreements. of the type used in this project that offer long-term price certainty in environment of rising energy prices.”