Solar installation helps conference centre keep energy bills low.

Event and conferencing centre, Junction 24 in Bridgwater, has installed a 250 kw rooftop solar system, to generate enough power to run the centre and keep energy costs at a minimum. Junction 24 of the M5 worked with Exeter and Exmouth based MIG Renewable Technologies to design a solar system that meets their exact requirements and enables them to run conferences and events using the energy they are generating. Using SolarWorld polycrystalline panels and the latest SMA inverters, the system will help the conference centre by generating 220,000 Kwh a year, helping them to keep their energy bills to a minimum. The £220,000 system should pay for itself in just over 4 years, and generate of profit of approximately £1,091,804 over the next 20 years. Solar specialists, MIG renewable Technologies, worked closely with the centre team in order to understand the exact requirements of the system and chose the top quality products that will last years longer than cheaper alternatives, saving the centre even more money in the long term. Nathan Ponsillo from Junction 24 said: ‘As a working cattle market, conference and event centre, we use a lot of power to continuously run, light and heat the property, sometimes 7 days a week. With energy prices always on the rise, we decided it was time to investigate renewable energy alternatives. He continued: ‘The electricity generated by the solar panels will be used directly within our building to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It is a long term investment for us that will not only help us keep our energy bills low, it will earn us money via the feed-in tariff and makes...

Is this the future of solar power?

According to studies made by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), solar energy is likely to become the primary source of power within the next 20 years. With the photovoltaic industry continually and consistently bringing down production costs, the price of solar panel installation halved between 2006 and 2010.The European Union (EU) has already stated its target of making solar energy responsible for as much as 20% of Europe’s electricity supply, by 2020. However, the EPIA has made a more conservative recommendation, suggesting that renewable energy will probably cater for 12% of the demand in that timeframe. Either way, it looks as though governments are finally giving solar power the consideration it deserves. Clean energy As an energy source, solar power is incredibly attractive for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is clean. Solar panels in particular do not emit any harmful gases or radiation that might contribute to global warming. In addition, they have a guaranteed lifespan of at least 25 years; quarter of a century without any destructive pollutants or emissions. On top of that, the creation of solar panels is also a very clean process; the majority of reputable solar panel manufacturers have a virtually insignificant carbon footprint and use the minimum energy in production. Solar power has the edge In addition, the very fact that solar panels utilise sunlight to create electricity is the potential source of energy security for many countries across the globe – which, in turn, offers a great reduction in the tension and stress that fossil fuels create. However, the fact that solar power can be generated almost anywhere on the...

Can I use DIY Solar Panels?

Solar panels are, without doubt, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, add some value to your home and make some money – all at the same time. However, despite the long-term advantages they offer, some people are still put off by the short-term outlay. Installing solar panels isn’t inexpensive, but when you offset the advantages against the disadvantages, it’s easy to see that they’ll pay for themselves over time and can even make you profit. Despite this, there are those who attempt to build their own solar panels, assuming that it will save them money. The short answer is that it won’t – and here’s why. Firstly, there’s the cost of your materials. You’ll need: 2ft x 4ft x 1/4inch Plexiglas, costing £25 or more A solar cell kit, costing upwards of £80. On top of that, you’ll need the expertise to use the items in the solar cell kit, which should comprise of: 50 solar cells 10ft bus wire 10ft tabbing wire A flux pen and solder You’ll also need: A junction box – around £5 Stainless steel screws and wood for frames – around £10 Silicone sealant – around £5 Board and panelling – around £5 Diodes – around £5 Assuming you can build the thing, you’ll have created a 60watt solar panel. The problem is, that to be able to use the Feed in Tariff, you need to be using panels approved by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. You’ll also have to pay out around £200 to ensure that you meet building regulations. If your system 16 amps per phase, you’ll also need permission from...

How to Choose the best Solar Panel Installer

Solar panels are bought as a long-term investment and you want to work at their optimum best throughout their lifespan. The most critical part of a solar panel’s lifespan begins at installation; if the job isn’t done thoroughly and properly, then your investment could start costing you, rather than working for you. But how do you tell if a solar installer is any good? At MIG Renewables, we’ve put together the top three things you should look out for when deciding who you’re going to choose to put your panels up.   MCS Accreditation. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an industry-led and internationally-recognised certificate of assurance. Not only does MCS certify products, but it also certifies installation companies to ensure that their installers work to the highest possible standards and product scheme requirements. It’s worth remembering that if your installer isn’t MCS certified, then you won’t qualify for the Feed-In Tariff scheme and, as a result, you won’t get paid for the energy you generate.   An initial assessment. A good installer will be happy to visit your home and give you advice, as part of an obligation-free assessment. Their visit should see them taking into account things like the angle of your roof and where the best place for your solar panels might be. In addition, you should expect a review of just how energy-efficient your home is and if there are any areas that could be improved upon. On top of that, a good installer should be able to give you a good idea of how much money you could potentially save through choosing renewable energy....

How much do Solar Panels cost?

At MIG Renewables, one of the questions we hear most often is “How much is this going to cost?” It’s an understandable and sensible question; solar panels are a long-term investment that are not inexpensive. However, they’re among a handful of investments that will not only pay for themselves over time, but can also make you money and add to the value of your home. The only way we would be able to offer an accurate quote would be to inspect and assess your home, before doing a few sums. However, because we like to be completely transparent to our customers, we thought we’d let you in on some of the things we consider when working out what the cost will be. Your electrical system. The short answer to this consideration is that the more electricity your house uses, the more panels you’ll need to supply that demand. On one hand, it does mean that this will cost a little more – but it also means that, in the long term, the savings will be greater. In general, a household needs around 21 square meters of solar panels to supply a 3KW system. Depending on who you use, this can cost between £4,000 and £6,000.   The long-term benefits. As part of our assessment, we take into consideration factors such as house location, size, roof space and how much sunlight a home gets. If you consider that the average system for a house is 3KW, you next need to consider the possible savings that installation will offer. Using 3KW as a rough guide, you can expect to earn £400...

Does buying Solar Panels make Money Sense?

When the Government initially introduced the Feed In Tariff, homeowners could easily expect to make around £1,100 per year – and that’s without factoring in the cuts to their electricity bills. However, since the freeze in the rate of inflation, those profits are considerably less – although this is mitigated by the cost of a solar panel system from back in the day, which tended to be around £12,000. Today, the cost is much less, ranging from around £5,000 to around £8,000. At MIG Renewables, we’re often asked if installing solar panels still makes sound, financial sense. The short answer is: ‘yes’. When to jump on the bandwagon Despite the current rate of inflation having a somewhat negative effect on earning potential, the potential is still there – particularly because of a Government-driven incentive. The Government has said that any panels installed will have their rate fixed for 20 years, which will only rise with inflation; that rate can never drop below your initial sign-up rate. In essence, the earlier you jump on the solar panel bandwagon, the greater the potential there is to earn more money. The long-term benefits For the majority of homeowners, there’s period of roughly 10 years in which you will finally recoup your costs. While that may sound like a long time to wait, don’t forget that this excludes the money you save on your bills; we’re talking exclusively about the money you can make through the Feed In Tariff. Once you’ve broken even on your expenditure, everything else that comes through your panels is profit. For this reason, solar panels are seen as...