Far Peak Eco Park
Climbing to new (renewable) heights
Far Peak Eco Park is located near the Cotswold town of Northleach, approximately 9 miles north of Cirencester, and is not only home to a number of commercial units, but also a climbing wall, cafe, cycle hire and camping facilities.
As part of the refurbishment of his commercial units, Far Peak owner - Chris Wild - wanted to continue to improve the site's eco credentials while also making the units more attractive to potential tenants.
The north or the south face?
The 50m x 13m former smokery building roofs are north-south facing. Common perception is that solar PV isn't suitable for a north facing elevation, yet this isn't necessarily the case. In many situations, with a relatively low roof pitch (Far Peak's roof is at a 15-degree slope), significant and commercially attractive generation can be achieved from a north facing elevation.
Mypower designed and installed a 49.83kWp, making maximum use of the available roof space while minimising the requirements from a planning perspective. SolarEdge inverter and optimiser technology was utilised, reducing potential shading impact and also providing enhanced reporting and safety features. Far Peak's commercial tenants now benefit from having a supply of clean, and (visibly) locally sourced energy of over 42,000kWh per annum to power their businesses.
Key facts and predictions
The benefits from solar PV were impressive without a grant, but more so with one.
- 49.83kWp (151 panels) - installed by Mypower.
- 42,900 kWh - units of energy produced per annum.
- £5,663 - first year income and savings.
- 15.9% (22.8% with grant) - first year return on investment.
- £245,278 25 - income and savings after indexation.
- 5.11 p/kWh (4.03 p/kWh with grant) - equivalent purchase price of electricity over 25 years including operating and maintenance costs
- 10.9 - tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided per annum.
- 6.3 years (4.4 years with grant) - payback before finance, tax and capital allowance benefits.
- 66% (73% with grant) - solar PV electricity savings compared to grid supplied electricity at 15.7p/kWh.
Future revenue opportunity - car charging
As part of the continued development of the site and to maximise the use of the solar generated electricity, four fast EV chargers will be installed. They will provide a valuable service to customers and businesses located on the site, while also providing a new revenue stream for the Far Peak business.
30% Grant funding
In Gloucestershire, grant funding of up to 30% is available to support SME businesses, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint and tackle climate change. The grant application process was relatively straightforward, with Mypower providing support and guidance as required. The grant saved Far Peak £10,000, making an already attractive investment even more enticing.
As the figures above illustrate, it was an easy decision for Far Peak to make.
Impressive attention to detail, knowledge and care
"I met Neil Stott from Mypower at a show last year and was impressed by his level of knowledge. He stayed in touch, keeping me updated on what was happening in the industry regarding grants etc. When we started, the whole process was managed from start to finish by Neil. The level of detail Mypower went into before coming onsite was very impressive and, as I'm involved in the construction industry, I could not fail to be impressed by the level of care that went into the installation - both the installation of the panels and the cable runs as well. With regard to the return on investment, the figures speak for themselves."
Chris Wild, Director - Far Peak Eco Park