Solar Panel

Using solar radiation data for the site, as well as other factors including the angle and orientation of the proposed panels, we estimated the annual generating ability of the panels at around 19,000 KWh per annum. This was fed into a discounted cash flow report, which took into account the FIT generation rate of 32.9p and the export rate of 31p, as well as the anticipated export rate of 50% and the forecast increase of electricity price over inflation. A number of quotes were obtained from installers to ascertain costs and feasibility, with the most competitive at the time quoting a cost of around £2750 per KW installed.

A year one income of around £7,500 resulted in a forecast internal rate of return of around 13%, and a net present value of £33,500. The payback period was estimated at 8 years with a 19% return on capital investment forecast after 20 years. As these were attractive figures the land owner decided to proceed.



After thorough analysis of the various quotes, including examination of the technical specifications of the panels and inverters, we settled on the most competitive company who had already installed panels at a number of other sites, a reassuring factor in a relatively new industry. Their panels were different from most mainstream manufacturers, in that they used poly-crystalline silicon rather than mono-crystalline silicon. Although their peak production per square meter is less than mono-crystalline panels, the area under the power curve was anticipated to be maximised for the poly-crystalline panels due to their ability to utilise more diffuse light, thus being able to generate earlier and later in the day, and also still be generating in overcast conditions. This meant that the power generated by the panels would be better matched to the operating hours of the machinery in the building.

The installation procedure was very straightforward. After a G59 application was approved for connection to the electricity network, a frame was attached to the roof of the building and the panels were simply attached to this frame. The panels were then wired to the inverter on the side of the building, which regulates the import and export of electricity to the grid and the onsite usage. The installation only took a few days, and the price was inclusive of all costs including scaffolding. The panels were generating almost straight away, and to date have exceeded their forecast performance which is shown in the data below, which identifies the scheduled panel output throughout the day.



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