Hambleton district in north Yorkshire has continued its strong association with solar after two projects with a combined capacity of 77MW were approved earlier this week.

Applications for the two farms – a 50MW project near York and a 27MW installation to the north of Northallerton – were worked on by LDA Design on behalf of Big60Million and Luminous Energy.

The 50MW York project is LDA Design’s largest consented scheme to date and Rohan Sinha, associate at LDA Design, said it was “very rewarding” to have worked on the two schemes.

The last two years have seen almost 200MW of solar farm proposals submitted in Hambleton district and Finlay Colville, head of intelligence at Solar Intelligence, said that the York and Northallerton solar farms are the largest by some distance.

“Most of the schemes being proposed within Hambleton have been centred around 5MW based sites being considered for 1.3 RO banding,” Colville said, adding that there were now two possible routes that the project developers could go down.

“Both York and Northallerton went into the LPA portal in June 2015, and are among a subset of solar farm site proposals that could be lined up ahead of the next CfD auction.

“Alternatively, with the events in the past few months possible having the effect of pushing out the next CfD auction to beyond the end of 2016, this potential 80MW combo-site could well become one of the first mega-solar UK plants that could be seeking to deliver attractive returns under the so-called subsidy-free phase 3 of UK solar,” he said.

There remain significant doubts over the future of DECC’s Contracts for Difference mechanism after its second allocation round – originally scheduled to take place this month – was postponed indefinitely due to a projected overspend within the Levy Control Framework.

DECC has yet to reveal any other details on the future of the programme despite repeated pleas to do so, and there is now more than 1GW of possible projects that have gained LPA approval that could be submitted to a future auction round.

This article has been amended to correct inaccuracies included in the original press release.