Thin-film producer Solar Frontier has revealed that it will partner with German developer, New Energy for the World (NEW) to develop and sell 100MW of solar farms in the UK.
All of the proposed solar projects will use Solar Frontier’s CIS solar cells which the company claims is a good fit for the British climate. The decision to expand into the UK large-scale solar market was based off the partnership’s successful 7.15MW project in Banwell, Somerset.
The group’s first UK project used Solar Frontier CIS modules and system components, German contractor Hadbank for substructure and mounting, and NEW for EPC services. Commenting on the project, Wolfgang Lange, managing director of Solar Frontier Europe, said: “The Banwell project, which commenced operations in 2015, serves as a frontrunner for future projects – it demonstrates the performance advantages of CIS especially in UK weather conditions, the benefit of optimising system components to leverage the advantages of CIS, and the importance of an experienced development team.”
Construction of the first of the 100MW portfolio of projects is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2015. Solar Frontier confirmed that it has already secured land and grid connection, and was now in talks with investors interested in purchasing the first tranche of completed solar farms.
Atsuhiko Hirano, CEO of Solar Frontier, said that the company’s expansion into the UK is part of a wider global strategy, he said: “Solar Frontier is going global as part of our long-term growth strategy and the UK is a key market for us. We already have a strong standing in the residential, commercial and utility segments in Europe, and are now proud to introduce new and broader market solutions also in the UK.”
According to industry analysts, the UK is now the third largest global market for utility-scale solar, however, the government’s recent move to scrap all renewable obligation support for projects over 5MW could hamper the UK’s performance.