Birmingham electrical services contractor JT Hawkes narrowly beat the drop in Renewable Obligation support to energise three solar farms in Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Working as the electrical subcontractor for German solar developer Abacus Solar AG, the Witton-based company completed the £2.2m contract for Low Carbon Solar Ltd, with the projects funded by the solar developer Inazin Power.

The sites at Wareham and Shroton in Dorset and Freshwater on the Isle of Wight presented a specific set of challenges due to their remote locations. In particular, the solar farm at Freshwater is the largest solar development on the Isle of Wight, with all materials for the 7MW farm having to be ferried onto the island.

The combined sites host over 75,000 solar modules with a capacity of 18MW. JT Hawkes estimates that the farms will provide enough electricity to power almost 4,000 homes annually, avoiding the emission of 10,300 tonnes of CO2 in the process.

Jason Gerber, project manager for Inazin Power, commented: “It was imperative that we met the RO deadline in order to maintain investor comfort and on-going support in this ever changing industry. The success of our projects has been down to the immense effort from our EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractors delivering projects in terrible conditions and timescales. Great thanks go to all who made it possible.   

“JT Hawkes worked in very difficult conditions to enable three solar farms with a combined capacity of 18 megawatts to become operational in a very tight timescale with time to spare.”

John Hawkes, managing director of JT Hawkes, added: “I am immensely proud of our engineers who were able to complete three solar farms in such a short period of time despite the arduous conditions that saw some working up to their waists in mud.”