BKS Energy successfully completed the 320KW solar farm just days ahead of the feed-in tariff alterations. Working together with the Isle of Wight Planning department and Scottish and Southern Electric, the company was able to finalise the project despite the uncertainty caused by the Fast-Track Review.
Caroline Knox of BKS said, “Once we had made the investment into gaining planning permission and the grid connection we had no choice but to complete the project. As local people using local businesses to generate local electricity we were pleased to be embracing the Big Society ethos. Unfortunately, although we had lined up funding, this quickly disappeared with the uncertainties of the FiT Review.”
Due to the loss of finance BKS Energy had to self fund the project, and so were forced to reduce the size of the first phase of the solar farm from 4.35MW to just 300kW.
Roy Barclay, who designed and oversaw the whole project, said, “We are celebrating the timely completion date but also the fact that we have stuck to our vision. We used local businesses wherever possible with companies providing planning consultation, engineering and design, the steel frames, fencing and groundworks. This is what we set out to achieve and this is a great result. We have built our own solar farm and local businesses have benefited.”
The BKS Energy team includes local farmers, plant hirers and renewable energy installers.