Martifer Solar will begin to target new power purchase agreements (PPAs) and grid-scale storage for its solar projects following the connection of its last solar project under the Renewables Obligation before the 31 March deadline.

The developer was able to connect a 7.3MW project in Sittingbourne, Kent to the grid ahead of the 1.3 ROC deadline after completing the development within eight weeks. The company will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the site, which is to be sold to a third party investor.

Henrique Rodrigues, chief executive of Martifer Solar, said: “The completion of this PV plant is a milestone for us in the UK market, as it represents the shift into a post-ROC era for our company going forward. We continue to view the UK as a viable market for solar energy, regardless of the government’s support, and are tailoring our future business model to continue developing and implementing projects within the country.

“In addition to this, we continue to grow our business activities throughout Europe and look forward to more achievements during these coming years.”

Following the closure of the RO to new solar developments, the financial modelling behind new solar developments have had to be altered, leading to the growing emergence of PPAs with high energy users.

Speaking at last week’s Clean Energy Summit, a panel of solar developers claimed PPAs will now lead the industry in a post-subsidy environment.

Martifer Solar appears to agree with this conclusion after Francisco Queirós, director of development for Europe from Martifer Solar, added that the company would now be using PPAs and other additional solutions to develop its pipeline of solar projects.

“Our team in the UK continues developing a pipeline of about 200MW to target PPA projects and future business models including grid-scale storage,” he said.

“Although the adverse changes in government support have been challenging for the industry, we continue to believe in the UK market and the country’s potential for solar energy. We have experienced this downturn in several other maturing markets across Europe in these past years and continue to move our business forward in these countries to this day, independent of support from feed-in-tariff or ROC schemes.”

Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource, previously stated to both Solar Power Portal and energy minister Amber Rudd that subsidy free solar can only be successful if the projects are “directly connected to the company that uses the generated electricity through a private wire connection”.

“The economics of solar PV are currently such that Lightsource will not be able to grow the UK's solar generation capacity without subsidy on non-private wire projects in 2016,” he said in a letter to Rudd on 21 March.