The analysis is finished. The surveys have been done. The number crunching has been completed. For the first time ever, the top 10 EPCs in the UK’s 5.3GW of completed solar farms can now be revealed exclusively by the Solar Intelligence research team.

Top of the pack are two EPCs whose completed capacities of solar farms are simply too close to separate. In fact, the two EPCs in question are within 1% of each other, and given the inherent uncertainty in final installed and rated capacity at any solar farm, it would be somewhat rash to split out their positions into one and two. And their individual installed capacities are considerably higher than any of the chasing EPC contenders. So we have joint number one winners.

The two companies in question are UK-based Solarcentury and the Spanish company Grupotec. Each company can now stake claim to being the number one EPC for built solar farms in the UK as of July 2015.

Where do the numbers come from?

Often when EPC rankings come out, more questions than answers are raised: where do the numbers come from; what about company X or Y, why are they missing; or even – some of these companies are not even EPCs!

Indeed, incorrectly assigning developers as being EPCs, when in fact they clearly don’t perform this role, is a common error made by others. Another problem is simply getting numbers wrong, where we can only assume the data is not done bottom-up by known completed sites, as it ought to be. Nobody benefits from these EPC tables, not even the companies at #1 position, if they suspect the analysis was fundamentally flawed from the start.

Our new analysis is done purely bottom-up from matching the known and confirmed solar farms – that make up the 5.3GW of installed solar farm capacity – to the lead-EPC that performed the work. We have not used company-provided ‘total’ figures that are typically not derived on a like-for-like basis, with some developer/EPCs simply claiming the total capacity of completed sites regardless of whether they did the lead EPC work or brought in an established EPC (for example Juwi) to do the real lead EPC task. Similarly, we exclude sub-contractor (or support engineering/construction) activities, with this category also prone to claiming build status on projects where they were not the lead EPC on the job.

The top 10 table revealed

All said and done, here is the top 10. We have deliberately hidden the actual MW numbers, choosing instead to show the rankings figure only. Surveys and discussions that assisted in matching sites to EPCs were done in confidence with industry stakeholders, and our team agreed not to put company-confidential data into the public domain within this article. Details of the sites that make up the individual totals of all solar farms built in the UK can be found in the new Solar Intelligence Completed Solar Assets Report, available by subscription from Solar Media.


Figure Caption: Solarcentury and Grupotec are the clear joint number 1 lead EPCs for the 5.3GW of completed solar farms in the UK. The remainder of the list is comprised of UK-based companies (BSR, Lark and Anesco) and mainland Europe, in particular Germany and Spain/Portugal. (For all intents, SunEdison’s UK lead-EPC activities can be classified as Spanish, and not US.) Source: Solar Media Limited, Solar Intelligence research, July 2015.