The past year
In March 2019 we worked with Egni to preregister 48 sites, belonging to 6 different organisations, for feed in tariff. Preregistration meant that so long as sites are up and running by the end of March 2020 they will still receive feed in tariff for 20 years. The plan was to jointly develop the sites with Egni, so that each site would have 2 installations – one belonging to Cardiff Community Energy (CCE) and the other to Egni.
What has happened since then?
- A university decided not to have community owned solar installations, but to install self-funded solar instead. That CCE 9 sites, leaving 39.
- A County Council decided that having two separate installations on each of their sites, one owned by Egni and the other by CCE, was too complicated for them. CCE consequently lost another 30 sites, leaving 9.
- A shopping centre where the site manager was enthusiastic was ruled out by the company head office as any third party owned installation was considered unacceptable. This lost 4 sites, leaving 5.
- A charity stopped using the site that we had pre-registered, letting it out to tenants. This took us down to 4 sites.
- Another charity is planning a programme of rebuilding work with major doubt about the likely suitability for solar of the planned new roof-scape. This lost another 2 sites.
So what next?
Although feed in tariff has ended for new entrants solar panels have dropped in cost by 80% since 2010. Some kinds of installations are still financially viable for community ownership. We are currently talking with a number of organisations about potential roof top solar but we would like to have more potential sites.
Find a roof for us
What makes a building a good candidate for solar?
- Owners who are willing to consider:
- a long-term lease of their roof space
- a power purchase agreement to buy solar electricity for 10% less than their grid electricity price
- community ownership of the solar panels.
- Unshaded roofs that are:
- pitched and facing between south west and south east or
- pitched and facing directly east and west or
- flat roofs
- Roofs which are in good condition that can bear the weight of solar panels.
- Roof area of at least 280m2 for pitched roofs or at least 650m2 for flat roofs.
- Buildings in good condition and likely to remain in use for at least 20 years.
- Buildings which use a significant amount of electricity all year round, particularly during the summer and ideally 7 days a week.
- Not a listed building and preferably not in a conservation area.
What do I do if I find a potential solar roof?
- Please find out the contact name, telephone number and email of an owner/manager/director and the address, including postcode, of the building.
- Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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