- An agreement is signed between us and a public body such as a school.
- We raise money through a community share issue.
- A solar PV system is installed on the roof of their building at no cost to them.
- They can use as much as they want of the electricity produced.
- They stabilise and reduce their electricity costs.
- We receive feed-in-tariff payments for every unit of electricity generated.
- We receive export tariff payments for every unit exported to the grid.
- We provide maintenance and insurance of the system for 20 years.
- Share holders receive interest each year on their shares.
- Shares are “bought back” in a phased way or on demand where this is possible.
At the end of 20 years
- The feed-in-tariff payments stop.
- The installation becomes the property of the building owners.
- The installation will continue to generate for years to come.
We will appoint an installer and arrange ongoing maintenance, through competitive quotes but hope to use a local installer and hope that opportunities can be provided for work experience and training.
For a school a solar PV system can be a valuable educational resource.
The output from solar PV panels falls a little each year – generally by about 0.7% a year. Twenty years after installation panels will still be producing more than 80% of their original output. No one really knows the full lifespan of a panel but it may well be more than fifty years.
The rate of feed-in-tariff received is fixed at the time of an installation going live (or for a community benefit society like us, at the time of pre-registration which can be done in advance of the installation), so the rate is known for the 20 year duration of the feed-in-tariff payments. Feed-in-tariff payments are index-linked and so go up with inflation.
Electricity prices have risen faster than general inflation for over a decade and this trend seems sure to continue for decades as so much of our electricity grid and generating capacity needs to be replaced.
Feed-in-tariff rates for new installations are regularly reduced but at the same time the cost of PV panels continues to fall year on year.