Lincolnshire-based solar installer Lark Energy has announced plans to install a 30MW solar park on the site of Ellough Airfield in Suffolk. The move follows similar applications for 30MW parks at Stradishall Airfield in Suffolk and Wymesford Airfield in Leicestershire. In total the proposed plans for all three solar parks would see 90MW of capacity installed across 450 acres – a move that would more than quadrupule Lark Energy's previous installed capacity as well as shatter the UK's largest solar installation record.
Commenting on the Ellough Airfield proposals, Jo Wall, Development Director at Lark Energy, said: “The solar farm will provide local jobs during the construction phase and once operational, the maintenance of the site will need to be serviced by local companies. We’re also aware of how close our proposed site is to the UK’s largest solar roof installation at the Promens plant and the overall strategic aim for the Ellough Industrial Estate to provide local jobs in renewable energy. We hope that our plans marry with this and underline the local and Suffolk-wide commitment to renewable energy.”
The projects proposed by Lark Energy are significantly larger than the 5MW threshold for feed-in tariff payments and will therefore operate under the Renewable Obligation (RO). Currently, all >5MW solar PV developments will enjoy 2ROCs until April, as Government intends to consult over the level of support it should offer large scale solar in the UK. An announcement from the Department of Energy and Cliamte Change detailing the consultation is expected shortly.
Those in the solar industry wishing to learn more about the fate of large-scale solar under the RO can attend this year’s upcoming Solar Power UK, where DECC’s Head of the feed-in tariff, Alasdair Grainger, will be speaking about Government’s plans for the future of both the RO and FiT schemes. The full list of industry speakers for Solar Power UK's seminar series can be viewed here.