Run By The Sun are delighted to announce the recent completion of a community solar energy project for The Coplow Centre a multi-purpose venue in Billesdon, Leicestershire. The PV solar system is made up of 102 solar panels and is a 27kW system generating 24,000 units of electricity every year. We installed a SolarEdge inverter and the performance of the system in monitored using the SolarEdge monitoring platform.
As a community group, it had been possible to pre-register The Coplow Centre’s commitment in installing a PV solar system in order to receive the Feed In Tariff rate at the time in April 2015 which stood at 11.30p/kWh. This rate is index linked and tax free for the lifespan of the system which is 20 years. Pre-registering the installation with Ofgem allowed the community centre enough time to plan and fundraise for the installation providing it was completed within a year from the application.
As well as carrying out our solar site survey to determine the roof orientation, the design of the solar array and the performance of the system – the income from the Feed In Tariff and energy bill savings – a structural survey was carried out to determine how the solar panels were to be installed on the roof.
Although the roof of the main hall consisted of a steel framework and was structurally sound to install the solar panels using rails and brackets, the lower roof required that the panels be integrated into the roof, removing the weight of the tiles to compensate for the weight of the solar panels. There’s very little noticeable difference between the two types of installation, although a PV solar system integrated into the roof is more desired and is a little more costly.
The income from both the export and generation Feed In Tariff equates to roughly £3,000 a year and it’s also predicted that the community centre will save around £1,000 a year on its energy bills. Using these figures, it’s suggested the cost of the solar energy system will be paid back in around 6 years.