Finding Suitable Roofs

Choosing Suitable Roofs

Can you help find suitable roofs for our first solar project?

Circ_PVcommHall_1We’re already in discussions with a wide range of organisations in and around Exeter about using their roof space, but there are many more out there that could prove ideal partners for our first solar project.

As a small organisation with limited resources, a little help from you could go a long way. Are you willing to volunteer a few hours of your time to look for suitable roofs, identify roof owners who may be interested or ring potential roof partners to tell them about the possibilities ECOE offers and assess their interest? We will provide a training session and support. If you can help please get in touch now!

The ideal roof for our first solar project needs to be financially viable AND deliver community benefit. Financial viability is dependant on:-

  • Good generation potential – best performance from southerly orientation although facing east and west can be viable. As little shading as possible and no threat of future construction that blocks sunlight.
  • Low installation costs – Pitched at 30 degrees on low rise buildings will be cheaper than flat roofs and high rise requiring scaffolding. Metal sheet roofs lower costs whereas slate roofs increase costs.
  • High energy use by the occupier – this reduces the cost of the grid connection and means our income is higher.
  • And legal ease – the roof owner willing to sign the roof lease for 20 or 25 years. Sometimes larger organisations baulk at this.

Circ_PV_01_1We have a preference for the panels to be sited on a community building, but the numbers need to stack up. It might come down to a choice between a low cost installation on a commercial building, generating a substantial community fund over the lifetime of the project, and a high cost installation on a community building that creates a small energy discount to one organisation and a much smaller community fund. We may choose both.

Ideal roof owners would have a lot of roof space and be looking to reduce their energy bills without shouldering the capital cost of installing panels. They would also want to take part in an innovative and exciting community project that creates a fair and equitable local energy market tackling fuel poverty, climate change and widespread benefits for Exeter, its people and the environment.

Contact gillwyatt@ecoe.org.uk if you’d like to volunteer.