Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels use energy from the sun to generate electricity. This electricity can then either be used in your home, stored in batteries (currently expensive!) or sold to the national grid. Houses with roofs facing between south-east and south-west make the most efficient use of this technology.
Electricity generated in this way qualifies for the Feed in Tariff (FiT), which is a tariff set by the government and paid by the energy companies for every unit of clean, renewable energy generated. Tariffs are currently set at 15.4p/kWh for most domestic installations (up to 4kW). Tariffs are reviewed every 3 months, but once you are on a tariff, you will stay on that for the next 20 years.
To qualify for the FiT your property will have to be assessed for its Energy Performance, and a certificate showing that it is at EPC level D or above will be required. Broadly speaking, if your house has insulated cavity walls, then it will either already be at this level, or will be easy to get to this level. If you have a solid stone house, then it is likely that some upgrades will be required.
Solar PV was the main focus for WREN’s initial roll out of renewable technologies – the over generous FIT and the rapidly reducing prices made this of interest to many who had not really thought about energy and renewables before. To the end of October 2012, domestic systems installed directly through WREN total 312kWp, including 63kW of ‘free’ installations. This is enough to generate around 325MWh/yr of electricity and save about 170 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. In addition The Olde House in Chapel Amble is a member of WREN with a 242kW array.
Cornwall Council has been supporting WREN’s programme with installs on social housing and also 50kWp on the Sports Centre and 15kWp on the library, some 200kWp in the WREN area.
Many other installations have appeared, many prompted by WREN’s promotion activities, with a total of some 500kWp in this category.
So, that totals to just over 1.2MWp.
We also have 2 solar parks in the WREN area, one is 2MW, the other 3.7MW. Neither of these have any direct links to WREN. This brings the likely total in the area to around 6.9MW. This will generate in a year the equivalent of electricity use of around 1250 homes (one third of Wadebridge).
Click here to find out about WREN's fantastic solar PV offers.
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