Solar developer Lark Energy connected 85MW worth of solar projects to the grid ahead of the renewable obligation rate dropping in April.  

The Lincolnshire-based developer constructed and connected five of its own development projects totalling 46MW of new capacity for Armstrong Energy. Over the same period, Lark Energy constructed and connected a further two 4.5MW projects funded by Armstrong Energy as well as a 3.5MW project funded by InfraRed Capital.

The developer has also revealed that its 31MW solar farm at Broxted Farm was also completed by project buyer Santander.  

Commenting on his company’s performance, Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of Lark Energy said: “Despite unprecedented weather conditions and unforeseen grid challenges, I am very proud that the Lark Energy team was able to construct and connect these projects in time for the end of March deadlines.

“The solar industry has once again demonstrated it is the only energy sector that can deliver significant new clean energy capacity to incredibly tight and demanding time frames whilst still consistently bringing down costs.”

Despite the renewable obligation rate dropping from 1.6ROCs to 1.4ROCs on 1 April, Lark Energy has reported a strong pipeline of projects. These include a 34MWp project at Fiskerton Airfield, Lincolnshire; 20MWp at Hartwell, Northamptonshire; and a 10MWp solar farm at Langford, Bedfordshire. 

Selwyn added: “Our new planning consents show that there remains widespread support for large-scale solar with two of the projects being approved by delegated decisions as a result of them not generating a single objection. All three projects had the support of the local authority and the wider community.

“We remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the UK’s large-scale solar sector and these projects demonstrate once again Lark Energy’s comprehensive service offering from development through construction to long-term operation and maintenance of the plant.”

In the run up to the April ROC drop, the UK solar industry managed to install 1.1GW of solar. The newly-published Solar Strategy admitted that DECC had underestimated deployment of solar farms, warning that left “uncorrected” large-scale solar could “erode the approval rating of the sector overall”.