SANDVIKA, NORWAY: REC Systems, a business unit of REC, has successfully developed, constructed, financed, sold and received the 25-year feed-in tariff accreditation for the 5MW Durrants solar power plant located on the Isle of Wight, UK.
The Durrants solar power plant will produce 5400 MWh of electricity yearly and includes more than 19,000 high performance REC Peak Energy modules. The installation will offset 3,500 tons of CO2 per year and provide enough energy to support 1,450 four person homes per year. In addition, REC supplied solar panels to the 5MW for Ebbsfleet solar plant in Kent, UK.
These projects are amongst the largest grid-connected solar power plants in the UK, located in locations with excellent irradiation. They are also among the first PV plants in the UK to receive project financing for the UK feed-in tariff scheme. Given the changes in the FiT, REC had to ensure a quick construction of the Durrants project in order to achieve the completion and connection of the plant to the grid by the July 31st 2011 incentive scheme deadline.
The successful completion is a result of cooperation between REC Systems, Kronos Solar GmbH who originally developed the Durrants project and Vogt Solar GmbH who were subcontracted to undertake the construction and systems integration. Kronos Solar is a Munich-based project developer with a track record in project development in Europe. Vogt Solar is a Berlin-based system-integrator, who also developed and constructed the Ebbsfleet project.
Both projects were project financed by Bayern LB’s London branch which provided £36 million of debt including portions funded by the German Development Bank (KfW). The Durrants project was sold to a fund managed by Bluefield Partners LLP. Bluefield is a London based fund manager focused on solar and renewable energy investments which will also manage the Durrants project on behalf of its investors.
Terje Pilskog, SVP, REC Systems, said: “REC is pleased to work with Kronos, Vogt Solar, Bayern LB and Bluefield to realize this landmark project. Excellent collaboration throughout the development and construction process made it possible to realize this project in a very short period allowing us to effectively manage difficult market conditions. The sudden change in solar policy has brought challenges for large-scale developers in the UK. REC hopes that the government will provide a predictable framework to support the growing solar industry in the country.”
In Europe, REC Systems have offices in Munich, Germany and Milan, Italy, managing the development, design, installation and financing of large scale rooftop and free field projects. During 2011, REC Systems developed and constructed more than 70 MW of PV projects.