Germany-based EPC firm Goldbeck Solar has started construction of a 49.7MW solar farm near Melksham in Wiltshire.

The project will be the largest Goldbeck has worked on and will feature Schneider inverters as well as S-Energy and Canadian Solar modules. Goldbeck is to undertake EPC duties on the site while also financing its development; however the company is understood to be partnering with an established construction service operator.

Melksham is one of a number of 30-50MW projects that are 1.3 ROC-compliant and expected to complete before the 31 March 2016 deadline.

The project originally went into planning more than two years ago but was initially rejected by Wiltshire council. It wasn’t until the middle of this year that the planning inspectorate reviewed the decision and gave it consent.

The original developer then spent September and October of this year discharging all original planning conditions – including changing the inverter supplier from SMA to Schneider – before Goldbeck Solar entered the fray in the middle of October.

Finlay Colville, head of Solar Intelligence, SPP publisher Solar Media's market research arm,  said that there had been an “increased focus” on grace compliant sites since April 2015 and with many of them still sat in the appeal stages, have become of “great interest” to asset holders looking to supplement portfolios largely consist of 5MW sites with large, one-off purchases.

“While before, many EPCs and suppliers would often wait for the call from established developers to get the business, the new Melksham site illustrates clearly that there are several gems sitting with developers that operate somewhat under the radar and are not known to most of the established supply-chain for UK solar farms.

“The fact that Goldbeck has brought construction finance to the table in this case represents a new direction for one of the leading EPCs to the UK market, and hints at the new UK solar farm landscape set to unfold in 2016, even beyond the 31 March 2016 RO transition point,” Colville added.