Another advantage and benefit of shifting to solar, as well as other, renewable energy sources is the speed and cost-effectiveness at which they can be brought on-line. Of course, a lot of things have to be put in place and fall into line in order for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to move from design and engineering to the completion of construction and connection to the electricity grid, but recent experience in Cornwall, UK demonstrates just how quickly this can happen.
Spain’s Isolux Corsan completed construction of three, five-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in Cornwall — the largest in the UK — in just ten weeks, ahead of schedule and in-budget. That brings to more than 300MW the total electricity generation capacity of the solar PV power plants it has built worldwide in the past three years, the company announced today.
Located in Langform, Churchtown and Manor, the three Cornish solar PV projects were brought on-line in mid-July for a capital expenditure of approximately 40 million euros (~$55 million). A total of 22,000 crystalline solar PV modules set on fixed arrays are up and running at the sites, with each solar PV power plant rated to produce 5MW of clean, renewable power.
Construction and grid connection to the Western Power Distribution grid was completed before August 1, in time for the projects to qualify for a higher feed-in tariff (FiT). The economic slowdown and budget constraints prompted the government of Prime Minister David Cameron to cut solar power FiT rates as much as 75% as of August 1.
With 1,500MW under construction, Isolux Corsan ranks among the largest companies in the world when it comes to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of solar PV power plants. Besides its latest three UK projects, it built the 72MW Rovigo PV power plant in Italy, the largest in Europe, in just eight months.
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