Work has begun on Scotland’s largest solar farm despite forthcoming cuts in government subsidies for a range of renewable power options.
The 14-megawatt scheme on the Errol Estate in Tayside, covering 70 acres of land, is expected to be operational by March. It will ultimately provide power for more than 3,500 homes.
Construction begins amid uncertainty for the solar sector, as support for it and onshore wind is due to be slashed as part of UK ministerial efforts to reduce the cost of clean energy subsidies. These cuts include projects north of the Border, though the Scottish Government announced in September that its would retain a key “grandfathering” clause.
It effectively extends the deadline for schemes to qualify for guaranteed subsidy levels throughout their lifetime.
The decision to keep the grandfathering clause came at a “crucial time” for Errol, which is being developed by Bristol-based solar specialist Elgin Energy.
Thomas MacMillan, director of Savills Energy, said the extension of grandfathering protection was “instrumental” in bringing Errol to fruition. With solar installation costs falling by half in the past three years, developers continue to hunt for sites that are viable without subsidy support.