Primrose Solar has acquired a 5MW solar farm in Merston which will form part of one of the UK's first split-ownership commercial/community projects.

The site is to operate and share a grid connection with a community-owned solar farm developed by community energy specialists Mongoose Energy.

The developments are yet to be completed but were granted planning permission by Chichester District Council in March. Primrose is to start construction of its site immediately, and Solarcentury has been appointed as its developers.

Giles Clark, CEO at Primrose Solar, said he was pleased to acquire the site from Solstice, a developer which he said shared “the same approach to promoting biodiversity and good stewardship” of the surrounding land.

But Clark was outspoken of the impact the government's feed-in tariff cuts will have on similar projects going ahead. He added: “It's a shame that reductions in the feed-in tariff and changes in government policy mean that very few shared-ownership solar farms will get built.”

“We see this sort of commercial-community partnership as a key way for the industry to grow in a sustainable way,” Clark said.

Community solar farms have been a particularly contentious victim of the Conservative government's policy reset, and there have been several calls for such projects to receive either a protected FiT or alternative incentives in order to continue their development even if 87% cuts are enacted as expected.