Ultra-fast electric vehicle forecourts will accelerate across UK motorways this year with the start of a billion-pound project to build 100 solar-powered sites. Taxis, buses and delivery vehicles will be able to charge up in under 30 minutes at forecourts equipped with their own solar panels and battery packs. Meanwhile passenger vehicles will be able to recharge in less than 10 minutes. The developer, Gridserve, plans to build around 24 charging bays at each forecourt, which will also come equipped with facilities including supermarkets and coffee shops so drivers can make the most of their time. The scheme will make charging electric vehicles “as easy as using petrol stations”, according to Toddington Harper, Gridserve’s boss and founder. The Buckinghamshire-based company will begin construction of its first site this year, and expects to complete 100 before 2025, including forecourts in York and Hull, where Gridserve is building the UK’s most advanced solar farms. The billion-pound programme is one of 11 in a £5bn portfolio of energy and infrastructure projects selected by the Department for International Trade to showcase to global investors. Graham Stuart MP, the minister for investment, said the project would not only spark an economic boost and create jobs, but also help reduce drivers’ bills and benefit the environment.
Telegraph 29th March 2019 read more »
Energy Live News 29th March 2019 read more »
Business Green 29th March 2019 read more »
Communities across England and Wales are set to lose out on at least 12MW of new solar capacity, after the government’s flagship subsidy scheme closed early. Community Energy England (CEE) claims at least 12MW of community solar projects missed out on gaining a Feed-In Tariff (FiT) under the >50kW band, which maxed out its capacity and closed to new entrants this month, over two weeks earlier than expected. The FiT scheme is due to close entirely on March 31, and most community groups were working to submit their schemes by that deadline. But a rush of FiT applications for larger schemes meant the >50kW tariff band filled up faster than expected and closed on March 13, leaving many of the community groups that were finalising their applications disappointed this week, the CEE said. Those projects which missed out on gaining a FiT contract now have little hope of bringing their plans to fruition, CEE CEO Emma Bridge told BusinessGreen. “I think most of them have probably died rather than stalled,” she said, adding that there is no policy framework in place to support such schemes going forward.
Business Green 28th March 2019 read more »
The end is drawing ever closer for the feed-in tariff (FiT), marking the closure of another chapter in the solar industry’s history. By the end of this week, the FiT will be no more and the industry will instead look ahead to the promise of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) and a subsidy-free future. Whilst the FiT may be very much on the way out, its impact cannot be denied. Its history is best summarised by MCS director Chris Roberts, who simply describes it as a “rollercoaster”.
Solar Power Portal 27th March 2019 read more »
Community solar is waiting with “baited breath” as the closure of the feed-in tariff (FiT) launches the sector into an uncertain future. With no suitable policy in place, community solar is at risk of “falling off a cliff”, says Emma Bridge, chief executive of Community Energy England. On Sunday, the FiT closes to new applicants with no option yet in place for community solar, with the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) not in place nor geared towards community solar. One of the draws for community renewables is the ability to pump excess profits into community projects, creating a benefit to the local community. Whilst “some” small-scale rooftop solar will be able to cope, Bridge says that the community value of the projects will be impacted.
Solar Power Portal 28th March 2019 read more »
The closure of the feed-in tariff is “endangering” Scotland’s active domestic solar market, trade body Scottish Renewables has warned. The small-scale feed-in tariff will close to new applicants from midnight 31 March, leaving the technology without a route to market for the foreseeable future. Scottish Renewables has said that the absence of a replacement mechanism will make financing future installations difficult, rendering the sector’s future “bleak”. It noted that the equivalent of 360,000 solar panels had been installed in Scotland every year since the FiT’s adoption in 2010, equivalent to around 700MW of renewable generation with an investment value of circa £150 million. Community investment in Scottish renewables has also been strong under the FiT, with 118 community-owned solar systems installed.
Solar Power Portal 28th March 2019 read more »
Last year, a company won a contract to build a 65-megawatt solar and battery farm in Arizona. A month later, the Saudis came out with a $200 billion plan to build the world’s biggest battery-backed solar farm by 2030. Then a firm proposed a nearly 500-megawatt solar-storage site in Texas’s oil patch. The race to build the biggest solar-battery plant is officially on. And the latest to join the competition is renewable energy giant NextEra Energy Inc., which said Thursday that it’ll build a project in Florida that will claim the title of the largest solar-powered battery in the world. The 409-megawatt battery will be added to an existing 74.5-megawatt solar plant on the west coast of the state near Tampa, a company statement shows.
Bloomberg 28th March 2019 read more »