During the first 3 months of 2015, RCD has successfully helped to complete works on more than 25 large scale ground mounted solar farms.
The projects have been situated throughout the UK in various DNO areas for contestable adoptions. In total, the projects have reached a generation export capacity in excess of 350 Megawatts (MW), which brings the company’s total MW connected since 2011 up to a huge 600 (MW).
As we all know, the major risk in all projects is the offsite contestable cable routes. RCD provides extra added value in the due diligence at the very early stages of design, to avoid unnecessary programme delays and also to provide assurance of cost. In the first three months of 2015, RCD completed works which amounted to over 150km of High Voltage cable being installed.
Projects have ranged from simple onsite agricultural connections to one project in particular which involved 30kms of High Voltage 33Kv cable being installed. This project in particular took place along very busy highways with 3 directional drills, encompassing liaison with Network Rail x 2 crossings and the Highways Agency on a major A road dual carriageway.
IHS predict that UK ground mounted solar PV connections would reach almost 1.8GW in Q1 of 2015 before the end of the ROC scheme. A few sums lead to the RCD work completed on solar projects to equate to almost 20% of the predicted total connected capacity for Solar Farms before April 1st 2015.
Completing works on site by 31st March 2015 was of vital importance for clients with large scale solar projects. This was due to the uncertainty of changing the Renewable Obligations (RO) scheme to the Contract for Differences (CfDs), where a subsidy is not guaranteed for newly connected projects, on the 1st of April. This meant more developers then ever required their connection before the deadline.
This is the fourth year running that RCD has helped achieve a 100% record of completing all contracted renewable energy projects within the desired timescales for clients.