Our Solar Installations

Solar PV 1

Wonford Community and Learning Centre

Wonford Community and learning Centre Solar InstallationWe have installed solar panels that can generate 20.5 kilowatts of power at peak output (20.5kWp) on the roof of Exeter City Council’s Wonford Community and Learning Centre. Our installer for this roof was Hyde Park Electrical Ltd.

The installation started generating on November 23rd 2015. This provides revenue for ECOE and the local community whilst providing savings for the centre, which in turn means more money can be directed to improving core services. The site has remote monitoring set up.

Shillingford Organics

Small Solar Shillingford

Martin Bragg, the owner of Shillingford Organics was the first to sign up for ECOE solar installations. He showed extreme patience as ECOE found a way to install on two of his roofs and find other roofs.

In November 2015, we were finally able to move ahead and install 39.5kWp of rooftop solar panels on two roofs at Shillingford. These started working on November 18th thanks to our installer Sol Electrical. Martin was delighted:

“I partnered with ECOE because I gain half-price solar electricity with the added benefit that it is from a sustainable source on our roofs! It’s investment free for me and it’s great to be part of a community project, which is making positive changes towards a healthy and flourishing planet.”

The installation is powering both Shillingford Organics and Rod & Bens Soups. Remote monitoring has been set up and it’s very exciting to see how much electricity is being generated through each day.

Devon County Council

ECOE has now successfully installed on two of Devon County Councils roofs – 100kWp at Great Moor House and 20kWp at Exeter Central Library. We had to install and commission both projects very quickly before a large cut in the Feed in Tariff (FiT) subsidy in January 2016. Our two extremely dedicated installers – SunGift for Great Moor House and Sol Electrical for Exeter Central Library – completed the work just before Christmas.

Great Moor House
Great Moor House under construction[1]

Great Moor House is a large modern council office in Sowton with meeting, training and conference facilities. It is also the home of the Devon Heritage Centre and Devon Records Centre. It houses all the computing services for Devon County Council Schools. Generation started on December 17th 2015. Great Moor House’s many computers mean that it uses nearly all the solar energy generated.

Exeter Central Library

ECL 2
As well as installing the new 20kWp array, Devon County Council (DCC) gave the existing 9kWp array to ECOE. Our lease with DCC has since passed to Libraries Unlimited. Our installation went live on December 23rd 2015. The library uses most of the electricity site and helps to reduce its energy bills

Exeter College Technology Centre

Keven Ciolino (SunGift), Gill Wyatt (ECOE) and Hertha Wood (ECOE) at Exeter College Technology CentreAt 150 kWp this is our largest installation to date. This installation was completed in August 2016, nearly two years after we had our first conversation with the college. The college has full access to the data from the panels so that students can use this information in their studies.

Pinhoe Road Baptist Church

We completed a 17 kWp installation in August 2016. We were unsure whether the church would replace the roof before or after the PV installation. The church decided to replace the roof afterwards. As such, we put the installation on the felt roof, which was not the easiest installation. SOL Electrical re-waterproofed the roof to maintain water tightness.

Glasshouse Lane Medical Centre

Installation of Glasshouse Lane Medical Centre with Simon Lord from Sol Electrical

This site has a steep inclined roof, so it was never going to be an easy install. SOL Electrical, which won the tender excelled at the challenge. If you ever want to see one of the ECOE installations this one is very visible from road level! We elected to install 20.1 kWp knowing that the surgery’s patient base of 10,000 patients in the Countess Wear and Topsham areas will be increasing because of the new housing developments between Topsham and Countess Wear and there are plans to extend the surgery.

The Beehive Community Centre

infographic3-vol1

This site in Honiton was the last installation we completed. Agreeing the legal details was a long, complicated process because Honiton Community Complex (HCC) had a 10-year lease from Honiton Town Council, which meant we needed additional agreements. Also, at the last minute, we found a limitation on how much weight we could add to the roof, despite it being a new building. Our installers, SunGift, had to redesign the 24kWp installation to satisfy these weight requirements. In the last two weeks it was very much touch and go whether all would be completed by the September 2016 deadline to qualify for feed-in-tariff subsidies. But we succeeded!

Total capacity installed for solar PV 1 is therefore 408.1kWp.

Watch our video about how solar PV 1 works:

Solar PV 2

In September 2015 ECOE pre-registered sites for local groups in Crediton, Okehampton, Braunton and Swimbridge to secure Feed-in-Tariff subsidies. ECOE, Energy Analysis and DARE then investigated completing these Devon-wide sites.

SwimbridgeJublileeHallUnfortunately Okehampton Glass was the only site we completed. We couldn’t proceed with Swimbridge Jubilee Hall, Lobb Football Pavillion, Braunton Academy and Southmead Primary School.

Swimbridge was nearly successful. It turned out we needed to strengthen the roof, something nobody expected. Because this installation was only just financially viable, this killed the project, even though we had virtually completed legal agreements.

Sadly the governors at Queen Elizabeth College decided against the solar installation of several of their roofs. This was a huge disappointment for Sustainable Crediton Energy Group after all of their hard work.

Although ECOE managed the installation at Okehampton Glass, a third party paid for and owns the panels. ECOE therefore operates none of the sites explored under solar PV 2.

Solar PV 3

A small section of ECOE's new installation at WestbankIn 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic started, we successfully completed two rooftop solar sites that together are rated at 75.8kWp. We got the formal installation certificate for the 29.9kW project at The Beacon Community Centre on Beacon Lane, Exeter, Eon February 12. We then got the certificate for the 45.9kW project at Westbank on March 12, just before the Prime Minister’s statement on COVID-19 on March 16 saying that people should work from home and avoid travel.

The sites are generating, and earning feed-in-tariff subsidy, on-site power sale and export income, and cutting emissions accordingly. We estimate that these installations will save the sites over £16,000 over their lifetime. They would avoid emissions of around 750 tonnes of carbon dioxide, if the grid continued to use fossil fuels at 2020 rates, which we are obviously striving to reduce. This brought ECOE’s total portfolio now to 10 sites, with 484kW peak generation output capacity. We paid for the sites with £74,500 of short-term loans paying 4% interest.

ECOE director and solar PV3 project manager Andy Extance with the installation at The Beacon Community Centre

Solar PV4: Potential projects

ECOE is currently in discussions with a large local institution about three new rooftop PV sites. We are also discussing various other projects. Most of these other projects are somewhat different to our existing business model. All these projects are very early stages and will take several months to proceed if they are even possible to do.