Rushcliffe Solar started as a Transition West Bridgford campaign to encourage greater use of Photovoltaic home power generation systems in Rushcliffe borough, but we are always willing to answer an enquiry from other towns in the region. There are many buildings and entire streets with roofs which have a good view of the Sun and could produce power for the Grid and Income for the occupants. Hit the You Enquiretab to get a free appraisal of the photovoltaic potential for your building. Email: RushcliffeSolar@gmail.com
If you are thinking about it, do not be put off by recent changes in the tariff!: Since April 2012, the tariff was reduced to 21 pence/unit and ones on poorly insulated buildings get only 9 pence/unit. There have been further reductions since. Use the Expertsure calculator to check out your house and see if it is still worth doing.
26 Nov '10: DECC, Department of Energy and Climate Change have just started a new website called Community Energy Online.
As the site states:
"This resource has been developed to support local authorities and community groups in their role as initiators, supporters and developers of local low carbon and renewable energy projects."
http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/britain-s-first-sun-park-gets-the-green-light 25 Nov'10: I see from this report that Ecotricity, UK's other very green electricity supplier (and mostly connected with Windpower) have decided to invest in Solar power in a big way.
This will be 1 MW worth of solar panels mounted on stand on their windfarm in Lincolnshire.
"The photovoltaic (PV) panels will stand in 59 rows just 2 metres high on a 4.7 acre (1.9 hectare) site, and with a capacity of 1MW will make enough green electricity for around 280 average homes each year for the next 25 years."
They are inviting the public to invest in the form of 'Ecobonds', with a better return than any current bank accounts.
PS, DNC writes, I have my account with Good Energy and already have a large PV installation, so am not likely to be investing in this, but others might like to. If you have a roof that faces east or west, or has large chimneys or tree on the south side, and cannot fit your own solar PV panels, this is a way to invest in solar without having to have them on your house.
19th Nov '10: As part of NEA's Warm Homes Week, various MPs have been visiting projects in part of the country so see examples of energy saving or generating. We were honoured to be chosen as NEA's example for Rushcliffe, and nominated one house for a visit from the MP for Rushcliffe, Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke. We visited the house of Jenny Johnston.
As he is currently Justice Secretary, Energy policy is not top of his priority list, but he showed interest in what we had been doing, and it was good of him to support the national week of action.
As it was a Friday at the end of a very busy week, it was very relaxing for him to end the week with a nice cup of tea and a chat close to his own home.
You can read an interview with Jenny on the WB Ecohouses blogsite.
22 Nov'10:DNC writes: My son who lives in Woking has sent me this image of the covered area near the rail station in Woking. It also provides shelter for people arriving by bus and using the adjacent shops. The PV tiles are distributed over the glass to give a good amount of daylight.
I have heard earlier that Woking is one of the pioneer authorities for investing in sustainable energy technologies. It has been doing this since 1991!
This is impressive!
19 Nov '10: Nottingham City Council just announced a programme for 160 solar PV panels on their new building, Loxley house, and another large quantity on their building in London Road. http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=12566
This is the way to make good use of large expanses of institutionally owned roof - good for reducing carbon emissions, and good for the council tax payers.
More about it in the Nottingham Evening Post article.
18 Nov '10: DNC writes: Tomorrow, Friday, I am having Tea and a photoshoot with Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, who is supporting National Energy Action's Warm Homes campaign 2010. This particular visit is because of Rushcliffe Solar's work in Rushcliffe, and NEA have nominated us to take part in this at the house of one of RS's 'clients', who recently had her roof fitted with PV panels by EvoEnergy.
....and by the way,
THANKYOU to Good Energy for finally making the Feed in Tariff payment! this is very welcome, before Christmas! A Tax free £1015 just landed neatly in my account, the FIT amount from April 1 to October 1.
11th Nov '10: Members of Transition West Bridgford attended the evening Rushcliffe community awards ceremony at Beckett School. We had a little bit of hope as we had some nominations - for example, for services to local business, or to the environment. But with so many things going on, and so many worthy volunteers deserving the prizes, we will have to wait another year.
Well done to Kinoulton for their Mayor's special award, for a Greening Campaign that managed to get 50% of the village involved, which is, apparently, a national record! Pictured are: Tina Holt (WB Ecohouses), Karina Wells (Transition WB and other things), David Nicholson-Cole (Rushcliffe Solar), Mrs Marie Males (Mayor of Rushcliffe), Sheila Hood (Sustainability officer for Rushcliffe BC)
15 Nov'10: Glastonbury, the mecca of rock music festivals has just one one better with this installation of over 1100 PV solar panels on the south facing roof of the large cowshed. In fact, the roof was designed with this in mind. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/10/solar-power-glastonbury-michael-eavis
This isn't the first time I have heard of FARMERS realising how much they can earn from their large field and large livestock or storage sheds. So well done to Michael Eavis for showing the way.
Although we do not have major rock festivals in Rushcliffe, we do have a lot of farms in the rural parts of the borough. So please take heart, anybody reading this who is a farmer!
Is a report on a house built in Frieburg in the nineties by Rolf Disch, amazingly ahead of its time. The article shows the architect's house in Frieburg, with a large rotating array on a flat roof. Clearly, this will generate more than the house's annual requirements.
A normal solar panel has a bell curve with a peak near to midday, but a rotating array can have a much flatter topped bell curve with the array working at optimum power throughout the day. If it can also tilt that would improve the power even more.
Somehow I don't see one of these appearing in West Bridgford, but then.... Colston Bassett? East Leake?? We can wish.
Gizmag is a great website for technology addicts. Ecogeek is a great one for Eco-technology addicts.
And can we have one of these on the south facing slope of Sharphill instead of houses? (this solar farm is in Ontario, similar latitude to ours, but plenty more land.)
8 Nov '10: I read a report today in Time magazine, http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/11/08/can-solar-power-lead-to-blackouts/
implying that too much Solar power could lead unintentionally to blackouts - central power stations being confused by a sudden surplus of renewable energy. This is an absurd extrapolation of a trend. In Germany, the amount of home generated power on a fine summer day is getting close to the entire country's electrical needs, which could lead to a shut down of the coal fired and other power stations.
Partially this is because Germany (with its well designed buildings) has a low demand for air conditioning, and if this occurred in the US, the surplus power would be eaten up by aircon.
The UK is a long way from getting near this, and it would be a blessing if it could. Weather forecasting is now an advanced science, and there is plenty of warning if we are going to get such days, just as we can predict days of higher wind or rain. If the system was really this fragile, then it needs fixing quickly!
The accusation by Stephan Kohler is absurd, because of its alarmist extrapolation. If it got anywhere near this situation, there would be adaptations to the grid to offload the electricity as an export, just as France currently dumps surplus nuclear power to the UK, through undersea cables. There is talk of a European super grid to share energy, so that the UK may sell North Sea wind power to the south, and the south sell Solar energy to the cold north. The more home generated energy we see, the quicker this grid will evolve. At the moment, in this house, we use something like 70% of the energy we generate annually because we use a heat pump, so we are not 'swamping' our neighbours quite yet!
The UK is aiming for 50% windpower eventually, and the Grid is going to have to get used to dealing with intermittency.
8 Nov '10: The staff of Rushcliffe Solar are attending an awards evening at Beckett School on 11th November. We have been nominated for an award for service to the community (in the field of Energy). That doesn't mean we have won it, it's a nomination.... so let's not write more about it now, but if we do win an award, you will hear more about it here!
Meanwhile.... if you think your house could take PV panels, do fill in the 'You Enquire' tab above and find out what the deal could be for you.
November '10: We welcome the arrival of these PV panels in a house in Willow Rd, WB, installed by MG Renewables. It is the ideal location, pure south facing and a clear modern roof, space for 16x235Watt panels with only the centre portion left for the existing vacuum tube solar water panels, and space for more in the future. Kas, the owner has set up a spreadsheet to record the daily input, this is one way to 'enjoy' the panels - monitoring their progress and comparing it with weather information. He has had solar water heating panels for a couple of years, but without any form of metering, so there's no way to know if it's doing any good. With a regular metering regime and his new PV panels he can meter the PV, the day and night electricity, and the gas too, comparing tariffs and calculating income.It becomes a bit of a hobby, and one can look forward on sunny days to see what the score will be, a bit like anticipating a 5 day cricket match result.
See the growing sheet at: tinyurl.com/Kas-meter