The Courtyard, Hereford

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The Courtyard, Hereford

The Courtyard Hereford solar PV on roof
Withington Village Hall, Herefordshire
The Courtyard arts centre Hereford

 

System Size 61 kWp
Generation 50,616 kWh
Solar Panels 120 x 250W REC Peak Energy (2015), 84 x 370W REC Twin Peak 4 (2022)
Inverter 1 x Sunny Tripower 15kW 3 phase (2015), 1 x SolarEdge 30kW 3 phase (2022)
Mounting Van der Valk

The Courtyard in Hereford is a multi-arts centre with Café and restaurant that welcomes 350,000 plus visitors each year. Its large flat roof is the perfect space to install solar without affected the visual appeal of the large glass fronted building.

The Courtyard started its solar journey in 2015 when Solarkinetics installed 30kWp of solar on two of the higher flat roof areas, generating 10% of its total electricity consumption. The system comprised 120 x REC 250W Peak Energy solar panels with a Sunny Tripower 15kW 3 phase inverter.

Then in 2019, The Courtyard joined forces with other arts and cultural organisations in the UK and Herefordshire Council to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency. Since then, it’s been on a path to not only reduce its carbon emissions but also its consumption to sustainable levels and encourage others to do so.

“Our motivation for installing solar is to reduce our carbon footprint and also to save costs as our electricity bill is rather large,” said Phillip Pearcy, Head of Operations at The Courtyard. “In 2022, we installed an additional 31kWp of solar bringing the consumption of 300,000kWh per year down to 240,000kWh.”

Now, both solar installations contribute 20% to the electricity requirement in the building.

The 2022 installation comprised 84 x 370Wp REC Twin Peak 4 solar panels installed on the main flat roof space plus 1 x SolarEdge 30kW 3 phase inverter. The break even for the second installation is forecast to be in 2027, just 5 years.

The second solar project went out to competitive tender and Solarkinetics won, helped by a positive experience with the first solar installation in 2015. “It’s great to support a family business and a local contractor, at that,” continued Phillip. “The installation was hassle free and we found the Solarkinetics team friendly and knowledgeable with a “can do” attitude which was much appreciated.”

The second 31kW of solar was installed with part funded by the EU European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Theatres Trust.

Rotherwas Service Station, Hereford Enterprise Zone

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Rotherwas Service Station, Hereford Enterprise Zone

Rotherwas Service Station roof solar
BP garage in Hereford solar on roof
Solar at BP station in Rotherwas, Hereford
System Size 40 kWp
Generation 35,370 kWh
Solar Panels 108 x 375W REC Twin Peak 4
Inverter 1 x SolarEdge 33.3kW 3 phase inverter
Mounting Schletter

The Rotherwas Service Station selling BP petrol and diesel does a roaring trade providing “fuel” for workers and their vehicles during the working day. The owner, Mohammed Ahmed, decided to expand in 2017 with a new larger building providing more than just a convenience store. There’s hot, freshly baked food for the hungry workers of Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone with an emphasis on supporting local food suppliers.

Mohammed wanted to offset the higher running costs by installing solar panels and generate their own electricity to power the new building, its fridges and ovens.

To capture as much of the energy from the sun as possible the main roof was orientated south and built at the optimal angle of 30°. “I got a couple of local companies to quote for the solar installation and Solarkinetics really stood out as the best option. Gordon Yule, who came out to do the site survey and design the system, was flexible and very customer focused, looking at how best to meet my requirements,” said Mohammed.

COVID lockdowns delayed Mohammed’s plans for the solar system but when the price of electricity started to skyrocket in 2022, the move to renewables took on a new impetus.

In total 108 solar panels were installed, covering the south facing main roof plus the forecourt canopy above the fuel pumps. “The installation team were professional, the lads were also quick, everything was installed in one week as planned,” said Mohammed.

“We plan installations so the level of disruption to the business is kept to a minimum,” said Gordon. “In this case, we were able to install solar panels on the forecourt canopy while still allowing people to carry on using the fuel pumps.”

Each panel is 375W so the total installation is 40kWp, forecast to produce 35,370kWh per year. “The system is due to break even in 3.5 years and from the performance over the past year, we’re certainly on course to achieve this,” commented Mohammed. “Electricity usage in the summer months was £5,000 per month, now it’s £2,500 per month.”

The Malvern, Malvern

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The Malvern, Malvern

The Malvern Spa Hotel solar
The Malvern Spa Hotel roof with solar PV
System Size 141kWp
Generation 123,818kWh
Solar Panels 349 x 405Wp Canadian Solar
Inverter 1 x Tauro 50kW inverter, 1 x Symo 27kW inverter and 1x Symo 20kW inverter
Mounting Ballasted Van Der Valk frames

When the electricity contract at The Malvern came up for renewal in March 2022, the sudden shock of a major price increase led the management to look for an alternative supplier.

The Malvern is a Spa hotel with a private membership club of gym and restaurant. Their electricity bill was forecast to increase from £8,000 per month to £25,000 per month even when they shopped around.

“First of all, we looked at how savings could be made in our energy usage. Realising only limited savings were possible, we decided that an expansive flat roof would be ideal for solar,” said Lynsey Kettlewell, Managing Director at The Malvern.

At the time, Worcestershire County Council was offering a grant, the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme, contributing up to 40% towards the installation cost of Solar PV.

“Four companies tendered and each one assessed on price, customer reviews and whether they were local; out of the four, Solarkinetics was selected,” continued Lynsey. “Solarkinetics proved to be a great team to deal with – proactive and took the time to explain the process including how upfront approval with the DNO is required before going ahead.”

The solar installation comprised 349 x 405W Canadian Solar modules on the building’s flat roof, mounted using ballasted Van Der Valk frames, plus three Fronius inverters – 1 x Tauro 50kW inverter, 1 x Symo 27kW inverter and 1x Symo 20kW inverter.

In all the install took just over a week. “There was no disruption to the smooth running of the business which was a real positive.”

The Malvern with high electricity usage consumes all the energy the solar panels produce, even at weekends as it’s open 7 days a week. On a sunny day in early March, solar was contributing 32% to the power requirement. Taking into consideration the grant’s contribution, the system is forecast to pay-back in two and half years.

“Even after installation, Solarkinetics proved supportive, helping to answer questions from our insurers and taking the time to answer any queries we had with the set-up.”

A K Industries, Hereford Enterprise Zone

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A K Industries, Hereford Enterprise Zone

A K Industries solar on factory roof
A K Industries solar Hereford
A K Industries solar on roof

 

System Size 480kWp
Generation 387,360kWh
Solar Panels 1280 x 375W REC Twin Peak 4
Inverter 2 x Solaredge 100kW Synergy Manager and 1 x Solaredge 50kW Synergy Manager
Mounting Trapezoidal roof mount

As the premier manufacturer of injection mould plastic parts for medical, water management, electronics and defence markets, the factory at A K Industries has a high energy bill, consuming 1.3MWh of electricity annually.

In 2022, not only was there a lot of volatility in the energy market but material costs also increased dramatically. To stabilise business costs as much as possible, A K Industries decided to investigate what savings were achievable from installing a solar system.

Sam Green, Managing Director at the company, sought the advice of Solarkinetics to specify a solar system with the solar panels fitted to the factory’s roof and determine the resulting pay-back time.

With a pay-back forecast to be just 2 and a half years, it was easy to justify installing a solar system that will be producing power for many decades. In fact, the solar panels came with a 25 year warranty on workmanship, defects and linear performance output

In 2023, a solar installation of 1280 x 375Wp REC Twin Peak 4 were installed along with three inverters: 2 x Solaredge 100kW Synergy Manager and 1 x Solaredge 50kW Synergy Manager.

“A K Industries is a family business as is Solarkinetics and this was a huge attraction,” said Sam.  “In business I find that the fundamental foundation for an effective working relationship is trust and confidence with those you work with – this I found with Gordon and Jaine, owners of Solarkinetics. Their customer focused approach was just what we wanted.”

The District Network Operator (DNO) limited export to 11kWh so at the weekend when the factory is closed not all the power generated is exported. Even so, the solar system is forecast to save £95K in 2023.

“Despite the solar system being large and taking three weeks to install, the team did an excellent job, without causing disruption to the business.

For A K Industries, the main driver was combating rising electricity costs, with the added benefit of supporting our sustainability targets,” added Sam.

Clear Storage, Hereford Enterprise Zone

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Clear Storage, Hereford Enterprise Zone

solar on roof of containers in Herefordshire
Inverters at Clear Storage Herefordshire
Rows of containers powered by solar in Herefordshire
System Size 11.25kWp
Generation 9,370kWh
Solar Panels 30 x  370W REC Twin Peak 4
Inverter 2 x Sunny Boy 5kW single phase
Mounting Ground mounts with ballast blocks

Clear Storage is the largest single site for storage using containers with 780 containers on the 9 acre site in Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone. This family business is committed to sustainability so when an opportunity to gain a Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) grant covering 70% of the cost of installing a solar PV system, they jumped at the chance to further reduce their carbon footprint.

Solarkinetics came recommended to Ali Goodman, Managing Director at Clear Storage. “Gordon Yule visited on-site and explained to us what was important to the business – the energy savings and pay-back time we can expect with the PV system,” said Ali.

The predicted annual output of 9371kWh powers the electrically operated access gates plus 50 containers with any deficit coming from the grid. Each container has a dehumidifier, light and socket with Kingspan insulation and polished wooden floors to keep the inside free of condensation.

30 x 370W REC Twin Peak 4 panels were mounted on the top of containers nearest the gate, the mounts facing south and ballasted. Two Sunny Boy 5000W inverters plus a Sunny Home Manager were located nearby provided intelligent energy management.

“Installation was quick and efficient, it seemed that no sooner the guys were here, they were finished,” continued Ali.

As testament to their sustainability credentials, Clear Storage are certified Carbon Neutral by One Carbon World and have planted more than 3 miles of native hedgerows around the site, free from annual cutting to support wildlife. The Goodman family who own and run Clear Storage are also nearby farmers, passionate about the environment around them.