The historic Knowlton Court estate in Canterbury, Kent has installed an 11.7MW solar array across 14.2 hectares of its land.

The installation was completed by the UK arm of German solar developer, ib vogt and connected to the grid in time to qualify for the higher renewable obligation rate of 1.6ROCs before it degressed in April to 1.4ROCs.

The solar farm uses more than 46,000 of Chinese manufacturer Trina Solar’s modules, combining the company’s TSM-PC05A 250W and 255W modules.   

Commenting on the completion of the project and his company’s relationship with ib vogt, Ben Hill, head of Europe at Trina Solar, said: “Solar PV represents a substantial long-term investment, and as the playing field has been leveled out for manufacturers, installers and end users are looking for the best quality they can find.”

Ib vogt managing director, Carl von Braun added that the high efficiency of Trina modules allowed the developer to not only install higher capacity but to do it in a way which was sensitive to surroundings, especially important for Knowlton Court – a Grade I-listed manor house from the Elizabethan period.

Approving the site’s planning application, the council noted that the solar site was “surprisingly well screened”. In addition, the solar farm will be seeded with grass mix and grazed by sheep once operational.  

The project is the latest in a series of developments between Trina and ib vogt, following installations completed at Pembrookshire and Kent last year. Summarising the importance of a strong relationship between manufacturers and developers, Hill concluded: “With a number of potentially disruptive changes to market conditions in recent months, particularly the anti-dumping undertaking and new waste processing compliance requirements for the PV industry, it is all the more important for manufacturers to provide high-quality products and services.”

According to analysis undertaken by NPD Solarbuzz, Trina Solar was the clear module leader in the UK solar market, supplying over one-quarter of all PV capacity installed in the UK.