Saturday, 19 April 2014

Landlord embarks on £23m solar scheme

A social landlord has unveiled a £23 million programme to fit solar panels to its housing stock.

Housing association Peabody aims to become a carbon-neutral business by 2020 and is seeking a contractor to carry out the work. Interested parties have until the 21 January to apply.

Following a tendering process, solar electricity panels will be installed on approximately 12,500 suitable houses and housing blocks from summer 2011.

The programme will be funded through the government’s clean energy cashback scheme, which will pay Peabody a tariff for every unit of electricity produced through the panels. This income, which is guaranteed for the 25-year life of the panels, will be used to pay for the cost of the panels and their installation.

Peabody claims that approximately eight megawatts will be installed, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its homes by up to 3,051 tonnes per year. Residents living in houses will benefit from savings on their electricity bill of up to £150 per year, based on current electricity prices.

Readers' comments (7)

  • what a ray of sun shine!!! Hope all the houses are south facieng...but this could be a serious wast of limted resources.

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  • Gavin Rider

    more flim-flam. What a pointless investment to make.

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  • Only One

    Gavin - I agree, how pointless saving those tenants £150 per year and reducing carbon emissions. It's a disgrace!

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  • Gavin - What's pointless about gauranteed income for Peabody for 25 years and some free electricity for tenants?

    BTW Does your employer know you spend all day making silly comments on web forums?

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  • The payback period for the massive investment will be approximately 20 years. Combined PV and hot water (the backs of the PV panels heat up a lot) may produce a quicker payback.

    In an emergency the mains supply can be disconnected - not so solar panels which continue to produce electricity even in low light conditions. The inverter may be switched off but not the power to the inverter.

    Try and obtain information on the risk to fire fighters from electricity producing PV arrays and you won't find much. America has had situations in which the PV arrays were the cause of fire and the cause of spread of fire. How do you safely remove and dispose of live equipment that is on fire?

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  • Combined PVT panels are unsuitable for homes because they would provide too much hot water and overheat. They are only suitable for large buildings which use a lot of hot water eg sports centres with swimming pools, blocks of flats and perhaps office blocks.

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  • Peabody is making a wise investment with this project, both financially and socially. Depending on how the package is financed the return on investment from the feed in tariffs exceeds that offered by banks. Socially it is right and proper to reduce the energy bills for the tenants in many cases lifting them out of fuel poverty. Ecological the achieved carbon reductions will make a significant positive contribution to the local environment and climate change.
    With regard to comments regarding overheating and fire risk providing the systems are designed and installed within MCs standards there will be no additional fire risk. As to the PVT (Photo Voltaic Thermal) comments the water within the system is used to keep the panels cool (The efficiency of PV panels is inversely proportional to the temperature) the panel is more efficient at cooler temperatures. The heat that is transferred from the panel would be used to raise the lower temperature domestic hot water thus, resulting in less energy being required to increase the water to a desired temperature.
    Dr Terence Lewis MSc. BSc.
    Technical Director. G-Holdings Ltd.

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