Investment firm buys 14.9MW project, as Compton Solar Group secures planning permission for 45.7MW project in North Wales
One of the UK's largest solar farms has been acquired for £18m by investment fund NextEnergy, but plans for a second phase of the project still hang in the balance.
NextEnergy Solar Fund confirmed yesterday that it had purchased Lark Energy's Ellough solar farm at a disused airfield in Suffolk, which was switched on in March.
The project is expected to secure the lower subsidies of 1.4ROCs per MWh available since April 2014, although NextEnergy said it would pay an additional £1.4m for the scheme if it manages to secure the higher subsidy rate of 1.6 ROCs/MWh from last year. A decision on the rate the project qualifies for is expected next month.
Meanwhile, Lark Energy is still awaiting a decision on the future of a 10MW extension to Ellough, after it was refused planning permission by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Last month, the High Court quashed the decision by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and refused the government leave to appeal.
However, a spokeswoman for Lark Energy told BusinessGreen the case has gone back to be deliberated by the courts once again after DCLG applied directly to the Court of Appeal.
In related news, Compton Solar Group has secured planning permission for a 45.7MW solar park on Deeside Industrial Estate in North Wales.
Local councillors in Flintshire approved the scheme last week, which is expected to consist of 180,000 panels and supply energy to 11,000 households.
According to the BBC, Compton has been in talks with a local papermill about a potential power purchase agreement for energy from the project.
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