Lark goes bigger than subsidies indication of solar acceptance w/o incentives --- read
Lark Energy, a unit of the homebuilder Larkfleet Ltd., won planning permission to develop a 32-megawatt solar park that will become the U.K.’s largest photovoltaic plant.
The company intends to complete the 35 million-pound ($55 million) plant before April, when subsidies are due to be reduced, according to a statement on its website today. It will install 125,000 solar panels on 150 acres between the runways of a former military airfield in Wymeswold, which is between Leicester and Nottingham in central England.
The project covering the equivalent to about 87 soccer fields has more than six times more capacity than any U.K. solar park in operation. Its development is an indication that the cost of solar panels has fallen so much that developers are working on utility-scale plants too big to qualify for the most lucrative subsidies in Britain.
“Lark Energy has played a leading role in demonstrating how large scale renewable energy can be deployed quickly and with the support of the local community,” Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of Lark Energy, said in a statement.
While the scale of the facility is big for Britain, it’s less than half the size of the largest plants in Germany and Italy, which are the leading markets worldwide for solar power. The U.K. guarantees above market rates for solar energy coming from plants smaller than 5 megawatts, a cap intended to limit the cost to consumers of power from utility-scale plants.