Chinese PV giant Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL) today announced the acquisition of a 49.9 MW solar PV plant in the UK from Group Energy Group PLC.

Trina Solar

The site is expected to be connected to the national grid before the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Trina Solar’s growth opportunity in UK

Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL), a leading Chinese manufacturer of photovoltaic modules that provides electricity for residential, commercial and industrial applications throughout the world said the UK solar project is coming online ahead of the removal of the government’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme, and thus being eligible to receive the 1.4 ROC rate.

Construction for the new project is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014.

Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL)’s CEO and chairman Jifan Gao said: “This new project represents a new step forward for Trina Solar in the U.K. following the completion and grid-connection of our first two projects that totaled an installed capacity of 23.8 MW. This new project will further strengthen our leading market position in the U.K., as well as in Europe”.

The chairman also highlighted UK’s growing importance in the European photovoltaic sector, particularly in the opportunities it presents for Trina to continue the expansion of its downstream business. He exuded confidence that with a diversified downstream pipeline in China, Europe, Japan and the Middle East, Trina is well positioned to realize its goal of 400 MW to 500 MW project developments this year.

Strong growth for solar power

A new report published last month by Morgan Stanley Equity Research titled “Solar Power & Energy Storage: Policy Factors vs. Improving Economics” elaborated on a new model that calculates solar economics around the world based on local regulatory dynamics and solar conditions. The report forecasts a “combined solar growth for China, Japan, the US, Europe, India, and Brazil of 39 GW per year through 2020 and global demand of 47 GW”.

Solar analyst NPD Solarbuzz revealed earlier today that the UK has now installed more than 5 GW of cumulative PV capacity, with 20% of that share coming from the surging utility-scale ground-mount sector. However, the strong growth is anticipated to tail off after April next year once the ROC is removed and replaced with the Contracts for Difference (Cfd) scheme. Some critics argue that this would tilt the support balance away from solar in favor of other renewable sources and segments.