Developing large-scale solar parks is becoming viable again, particularly for rural estates looking to invest, according to a group of industry professionals.

Although the Government effectively killed off the large-scale solar industry when it closed the Feed-In Tariff and Renewable Obligation to new schemes in 2016, the cost of the technology has since dropped so much that it’s worth thinking again, says Hugh Taylor, chief executive at independent power and energy consultancy Roadnight Taylor.

He said: “The cost of solar installations has declined by a third since 2016, while at the same time revenues from wholesale electricity have increased by more than 80 percent. With the technology now proven and reliable, we are entering a period when subsidy-free, utility-scale solar is viable once more”.

A growing number of large corporate organisations are seeking to buy their green energy direct from owners of big renewables plants, so there are opportunities for landowners to meet these needs, he said. “Whilst there are some big installations programmed for 2019/2020, many proposed schemes are not yet feasible for traditional solar investors – but given the cost of land rents and the premiums developers charge to investment funds, those with their own land are well-placed to capitalise on the rising clean energy demand.

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