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solar farm

Grid capacity worries spark UK solar farm boom

We’ve been hearing rumblings about constraints on grid capacity in Cornwall for some time now,  but this is the first reporting in the mainstream media (BBC - www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24659790) about the potential problems facing large field base PV projects.
Basically,  the electricity grid is designed to export energy out from power stations,  not bring energy in from localised sources of generation.

We’ve never been big fans of large scale systems on decent agricultural land because we think it should be used to produce food,  not energy.  We think it’s better that electricity produced by PV is consumed at source which is why PV on commercial buildings makes so much sense.  The occupier imports less from,  and exports less to the grid and is in total control of the energy produced.  This grower in Cornwall is a classic example...

Cornish potato farm saves £2 million with solar from Mypower

125 kwh solar pv installation - April 2013

Cornwall solar side viewMypower advised, designed and installed a solar PV system for an Agricultural Landlord who owns a large building used for cold storage and packing.
Mypower’s qualified surveyor dealt with the whole project including the Western Power upgrade and consent to connect, structural survey, Energy Performance Certificate, planning, system design, product procurement and supply, installation, Feed in Tariff applications and forms, Power Purchase Agreement to sell surplus power back to grid and liaised with solicitor in connection with matters concerning the sale of power to tenant.
corwall solar pv install from mypowerThe customer was consulted at every stage but coordinated and driven by Mypower. “I didn’t believe it was going to be so straight forward and involve so little of my time, all I had to do was listen, take advice from my accountant and sign the cheques! Ben organised everything”

Key Facts

  • 124.8 kwh (520 REC panels) supplied and installed by Mypower.
  • 123,850 kwh of electricity produced per annum (prediction from PV Sol typically conservative by 5%)
  • £170,000 - Total system cost fully installed including £20k of Western Power Network upgrades and significant other internal power upgrades.corwall solar pv install from mypower

Landlord’s benefits:

  • £13,739 pa from Feed in Tariff of 11.1p / kwh for all electricity produced
  • £2,822 pa for electricity exported to the grid at 5.7p / kwh (approximately 40% of output)
  • £7,427 pa for electricity sold to tenant / kwh (around 75,000 kwh per annum 60%)
  • £23,998 pa total income, increasing annually by RPI as a minimum
  • 14.1%  - Landlord first year return on capital  - payback 7.1 years
  • £710,000 plus – projected total income and savings over 20 years
  • 25 to 40 years - anticipated system life

Ongoing maintenance and running costs excluding finance:

Insurance: £400 pa
Panel clean: £600 pa
Metering costs: £200 pa
Inverter warranty extension from 10 to 20 years: £350 pa
Admin: £250
Total £1,800 pa

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UK's reliance on imported gas could soon backfire

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