Solar energy developer Kinetica has brought its 39.2MW Raventhorpe Solar Farm online in a development with steel giant Tata Steel.
The 78.5 hectares site was constructed at a cost of £48 million and Kinetica has struck a deal with Tata Steel, whose works are located nearby the solar farm, which involves the manufacturer buying electricity through a rolling PPA to meets its renewable energy procurement strategy.
Kinetica formed a joint venture partnership with EPC contractors WElink in order to construct the site using panels supplied by manufacturer China Triumph CTIEC.
The developer first unveiled plans for the site to local residents in July last year, however the project was threatened by the government change in policy to Contracts for Difference mid-way through its construction, something which Kinetica director Nathan Welch said was “potentially disastrous” for the firm.
Speaking to Solar Power Portal this morning, Welch commended the contractors in connecting the site prior to April’s ROC deadline after construction was only allowed to start in January.
“I think the most challenging thing aside from financing the project after the government did [change policy] was actually constructing it in the time frames. [WElink] need to be commended in building such a huge project in such a tight time frame,” Welch said.
Raventhorpe has also been developed with low visual impact in mind and Kinetica has worked on the biodiversity of the site, starting an expansive planting programme and creating a number of wildlife habitats to encourage native species to return to the site.
Kinetica has also worked with WElink to complete a separate solar project in Barrow-in-Furness and the company is also waiting to receive planning permission on a 13MW solar farm in Tendring which, if successful, is to be constructed under the 1.3ROC grace period.