Forget the Sahara. Is Cornwall the new solar power capital? A solar goldrush may be just about to emerge as the Cornwall Council has issued a Public Tender Notice for a series of solar power plant plans. The Council says it has posted this notice to advertise its intention to establish a framework agreement for contractors to be appointed for the design, build, operation and maintenance of solar energy generation projects located within the UK regions of Cornwall, Plymouth and Devon.
The general scope of works will involve the design and construction of the entire solar energy generation system, including the associated works to ensure it is connected to the electricity grid and/or any consumer connections. The works will also include the operation and maintenance of the solar energy generation projects to ensure they are kept in working order and maintain their expected energy generation outputs.
The type and range of projects intended to be procured under this framework agreement will range from large-scale solar parks to smaller scale commercial and or domestic installations. The projects called-off under this framework will vary in terms of their electricity generation outputs from an estimated 0.01MW to 5MW.
The first project, named the Kernow Solar Park, to be procured under the Framework will be a ground-based photovoltaic installation, located within close proximity to Newquay Airport in Cornwall, capable of achieving a maximum 5MW output.
Full details of the solar energy generation projects framework agreement will be disseminated to the shortlisted tenderers as part of the Invitation to Tender stage.
In mid-November, Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson wrote to Energy Minister, Greg Barker to reaffirm the area’s commitment to renewable energy generation. The letter describes the potential problems which could be caused by cutting the feed-in tariffs and also outlines the council’s argument for large-scale solar.
“As part of our ambitious and innovative approach to renewable energy we have developed separate and specific teams responsible for our regulatory function and the facilitation of Cornwall’s green ambitions,” said Robertson.
“It is the council’s belief that the development of ground-based solar PV will provide substantial opportunities to drive the market price down for PV in the UK.”