Highland Council is to invest £2.3 million in building a range of small solar farms across its estate after agreeing on a scheme that aims to make more than £4 million for the council over 20 years. The council’s current plans would see 2.5MW of solar built, comprising ten 250kWp arrays built on land that according to Councillor Bob Lobban, chairman of the authority’s redesign board, could not be used for anything else. A total of 37 locations throughout the council estate have been identified, with the final sites yet to be selected. This number could rise after consultations are carried out with residents to decide where the new solar arrays could be located. Instead of a power purchase agreement model, which would not require the council to put up any upfront capital to pay for the new sites, Highland Council will enter into long term borrowing agreements with ‘cheap’ interest rates in order to make a profit. With these funds easily accessible, installations will be dictated by how long the site selection process takes, but Lobban expects the first sites to be completed before the end of 2018, with net profits to be achieved each year of the 20-year lifespan of the panels.
Solar Power Portal 9th March 2018 read more »
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has launched a brand new solar carport guide with the intent of stimulating the market. Launched at this week’s Ecobuild exhibition the guide, entitled ‘Multifunctional Solar Car Parks: A good practice guide for owners and developers’, has been funded by Innovate UK and written alongside solar carport specialist Flexi-Solar. It’s also received support from the likes of the Solar Trade Association, APSE Energy, the British Parking Association and the Electricity Storage Network. Its stated aim is to provide an outline of key factors required for the business cases behind solar car parks, including details relating to site selection, design and development. The new document follows on from the BRE’s good practice solar car parks guide published two years ago, but updates some of the guidance to include further applications of energy storage and electric vehicle charging points and how they be incorporated into the design and development stage.
Solar Power Portal 8th March 2018 read more »