Solar PV 1: Our installations
Wonford Community and Learning Centre
The installation started generating on Nov 23rd, providing 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. Remote monitoring is set up, so we can monitor generation and we hope to have a link here soon.
Martin Bragg, the owner of Shillingford Organics was the first to sign up for ECOE solar installations. He showed extreme patience as ECOE both found a way to install on two of his roofs and while ECOE worked to establish a portfolio of roofs that would mean we could go ahead with a community share offer to raise funds needed to carry out the first solar installations.
In November 2015, we were finally able to move ahead and install 40kWp of rooftop solar panels on two roofs at Shillingford. These became fully operational on November 18th thanks to our installer Sol Electrical. Martin is, needless to say, 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 – Great Moor House (100kWp) and Exeter Central Library (20kWp). There was a very tight timescale as we needed to complete the installation and commission both projects before the expected large January FiT digression too place. Both were completed just before Christmas thanks to the extremely dedicated work by our two installers – SunGift for Great Moor House and Sol Electrical for Exeter Central Library.
Great Moor House
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, Devon Records Centre and houses all the ICT for Devon County Council Schools. Generation started on December 17th and its many computers mean that it is extremely likely that all of the solar energy generated will be used onsite.
Exeter Central Library
As well as installing the new 20kWp, Devon County Council has generously transferred the ownership of the existing 9kWp to ECOE. This means we now own a 29kWp installation. There are plans for transferring the ownership of Exeter Central Library to a community mutual this year and our lease with DCC would then be transferred to the community mutual. Our installation went live on December 23rd. The majority of electricty will be used on site and will help to reduce the library’s energy bills
The remaining installations to be completed
The rest of Solar PV1’s planned installations will take place in 2016, subject to leases, PPAs and other legal agreements, these include:
Look out for updates in our newsletters.
Solar PV1 General Information
Our first community-owned project is a 300kWp solar PV installation in Exeter or nearby. The investment needed for this was approx £390,000, which was successfully raised by a community share offer. A community fund will be established to fund local community project that promote energy efficiency and help to alleviate fuel poverty.
Local people invested in the project and will now share in the returns (hoped to be 5% over the lifetime of the project) and be part of an innovative project with multiple benefits – environmental, economic, social and political.
The revenue is generated from the sale of electricity to the occupier of the building, the Government feed-in-tariff scheme and the export of electricity to the national grid. This will cover ECOE’s overheads; and to maximise the community benefit from Solar PV 1, our aim is to pay equal amounts into the community fund and to our shareholders over the 20 years of the project.
We talked to a range of people, community groups and other organisations to develop these plans and find our portfolio of suitable roofs. Our partners include community organisations, a doctors surgery, a church, two Devon County Council owned properties and local businesses. The roofs all face southeast, south or southwest. It will provide a source of local renewable electricity for a minimum of 20 years afterwards.
Part of the money generated by Solar PV 1 will be reinvested in more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.