15 Sep 2011

At last a PV pilot

Thursday evening on 22nd sees Full Council with an interesting collection of reports and motions.  More on that later. However earlier in the day there is a report going to Cabinet which I am delighted to see: "TO CONSIDER AN EXPANSION OF THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND INVESTIGATE A NEW BUILD PROGRAMME OF COUNCIL HOUSING". See report here. This is partly about a pilot of PV and whole house retrofit and has been a while coming....indeed as noted on this blog I have long sought the Council to consider borrowing say £10m to develop renewables. Indeed have used every opportunity to raise the issue....

Well it is only a pilot but it does hold potential. One example they give in the report is research at a Housing Association in Somerset which is installing PV to 1,200 properties by the end of March 2012. The following provides some headline facts:
• Investment of £10 million on 1,200 units with a payback within 10 years
• Estimated income of £3.7 million per year, working on an Investors forecast of 10% to 15% Yield
• The area of work is a "Triple A" rated investment and is therefore very attractive to investors
• Developed a Special Delivery Vehicle to retain the full FiT and handle Corporation Tax
• Stressed the importance to undertake research in terms of choosing the right PV panels
• Used a "Back Office" package to effectively monitor the outputs
• By using their Framework the procurement process could be reduced by 6 to 9 months


Simon Grover said...

Thanks for this Philip. A Councillor since May, I'm urgently pushing St Albans Council to take advantage of the FIT and install large scale solar.

They are worried about the cost implications and are dragging their feet, despite the looming April deadline when the FIT becomes less attractive. This despite the work many other councils have done investigating and deciding in favour of large scale PV on council properties.

Any advice or resources to get St albans to move quicker?

Philip Booth said...

Happy to talk more. It is a real challenge especially as budgets have now been set for this year - although sometimes some monies can be found. Certainly worth showing the Stroud report linked above to your Council officers....as noted it is a pilot and therefore maybe attractive to St Albans?

Over the last three years I have chaired two scrutiny task and finish groups - the first on climate change measures that led to an Energy Strategy - the second has built on that - it takes time to build that support - it is very sad that Stroud like many other Councils will miss out on most of the benefits of FIT...