Solarcentury has poached Chris Banks from RES to lead its subsidy-free solar development team in the UK.

Banks joins the firm as UK project development lead and will manage a team established by Solarcentury to develop subsidy-free solar parks.

Frans van den Heuvel, chief executive at Solarcentury, said the appointment was a “significant move” for the firm as it sets its sights on ramping up activity in its home market once again.

“Over our 20 years here we have developed over 700MW of solar projects in the UK, prior to significant expansion overseas. Now… we are able to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to meet fast-growing demand for renewable energy.

“We’re committed to developing the future of energy: subsidy-free, utility-scale solar projects and welcome Chris to help realise this ambition back here in the UK.”

Banks brings more than 13 years’ experience in the renewables space to the role and said his team would help “secure the UK’s long-term clean energy supply by rapidly increasing the deployment of solar power”.

For many in the industry 2019 looks set to be the year subsidy-free solar breaks through in the UK, with a handful of early projects having already been energised without any government subsidy to date.

Late last year the Solar Trade Association released its projections for large-scale solar project economics, stating that costs could fall to around £50 – 60/MWh in 2019, enough to bring forward as much as 500MW of subsidy-free capacity.

And yesterday Solar Media’s in-house market research team revealed that the pipeline of projects that could be energised before the year’s end stands at more than 300MW.