What We Do:
Putting solar on big roofs is one of the most efficient ways to generate renewable energy, especially if most of it is used in the building itself.
What’s in it for the Building Owner and User?
We will put solar panels on the roof, and maintain them for 25 years, at no cost to the building owner, in return for a lease over the airspace and an agreement to buy some or all of the electricity produced at a highly competitive price.
What Green Nation does:
We act as project and asset managers for the installation throughout its life.
Before the system is even built, we will obtain whatever planning consents and permissions are needed, and ensure that there is sufficient capacity on the local grid to connect the installation. We take the building owner through the lease for the airspace and the Power Purchase Agreement that will set the terms for how we sell the electricity produced.
The cost of building and maintaining the system is recovered by earning Feed In Tariff for the electricity generated, and by selling power to the building user.
How it works financially:
We will work with an installer to specify the equipment to be used for the system – we insist on high-quality components in order to maximise power produced. Green Nation funds the build, with the backing of investors who are attracted to the steady income solar provides over the years. After the build, we ensure the installation is registered for Feed In Tariff if that’s available. We then monitor the output of the solar panels and the health of the system for 25 years, and organise any repairs and maintenance that are needed.
We sign an agreement with the building owner to sell them as much electricity as they can use. This will typically be at a discount to the price of electricity from the grid; the exact level depends on the economics of the individual project.
The electricity is available during daylight hours, with a peak in the middle of the day, and higher production in the summer months. Before agreeing a deal, we look at the power consumed by the building and we size the system installed so that most or all of its output is used in the building itself. Any excess is exported to the grid and sold by us on the wholesale market.
What does a Big Roof look like?
Good solar roofs come in all shapes and sizes, but most have this in common:
- At least 200 square metres of roof space, on one or more neighbouring roofs – and with no upper limit to size
- Sturdy roof and building able to support the weight of the panels for 25 years
- Minimal shading from trees, buildings or other landscape features
- Houses a long-term occupant of the building who uses lots of electricity
We are always looking for new roofs on which to install. To discuss an opportunity to put solar on your building contact us here.
Schools & Colleges
Schools, academies and colleges are great places to put solar – they have large buildings, consume lots of power and are obviously there for the long-term. They are also occupied by lots of people who are enthusiastic and well-informed about renewable energy.
In addition to cheaper electricity, we provide an educational resource:
- Web Portal giving access to detailed information on electricity production on site
- Feed to a monitor in reception with a summary of what has been produced that day
In 2015, Green Nation organised some of the largest schools solar projects in the UK to date. We look forward to doing more in the future.
In October 2015, Green Nation was put in touch with City Academy, Bristol, who were interested in a large installation on their classroom and sports hall roofs to help reduce their high energy costs. Solar firm IDDEA of Devizes were to carry out the installation.
Knowing that the Feed In Tariff scheme was to be subject to large but as yet unspecified change at the start of 2016, all parties moved quickly to ensure the project could happen. Collectively, they secured:
- Permission from the team within the Department of Education responsible for Academies
- Grid Connection from Western Power Distribution
- Confirmation from Bristol City Council of planning status of the project, and clearance for the project from the team responsible for educational buildings
- Materials for the project in what was an extremely busy period for the industry
When the project was ready, Green Nation financed the build at no cost to the Academy.
Jonathan Thompson, Chief Executive of Green Nation: “This is one of the biggest solar projects on any school or academy in the country, and due to an imminent change in Government support for solar power, had a tight deadline for completion. We’ve worked with quite a few educational establishments around the country on solar power projects, and were impressed by the speed and professionalism with which Maria Townsend (Finance & Operations Director of OWLT, CAB) and her team at City Academy Bristol negotiated the agreements and organised the permissions necessary to make this project happen. Bristol City Council, the EFA and grid operator Western Power Distribution also went beyond the call of duty to make the project possible, and IDDEA then built the system to a very high quality during the short days and stormy weather of December. Their combined work will bring clean power and cost savings to City Academy Bristol for decades to come.
Jon Angell, Principal at City Academy Bristol: “One of the many things that we teach our students through Science and Geography is the impact of climate change and the need to live more sustainably. To be able to show that we are taking steps as an academy to work in a more sustainable way helps reinforce our teaching and learning.”