Lockleaze Homes in Bristol Set To Get Free Solar Panels
Author: Ian Wright
Published: Tuesday, 19 June 2012
A new solar power scheme is hitting Bristol in the Lockleaze area though power Co-operative 'Bristol Power'. They state participants within the scheme could save up to 40% on energy bills by installing hundreds of solar panels for free on the roofs of Lockleaze homes.
Having received a 15,000 pound grant from central government and the city council via the sustainable community energy fund, the co-op will install the solar panels free of charge on the homes of participants within the project and the resulting energy can be used by them for free.
If successful in the Lockleaze, the co-op seeks to take the project to the rest of the Bristol community and beyond. David Saunders, from Bristol Power, states:
"We want to offer people the opportunity to join an energy co-operative which would give them the chance of solar panels on their roof and much cheaper annual electricity bills. In Bristol there is enough roof space for 700 megawatts of solar power – that's the equivalent of a decent sized power station."
In addition to the free power from the solar panels Bristol Power are also negotiating a deal on any additional energy which has to be bought from the national grid in the darker months of the year. Money made by selling the excess energy produced by the solar panels to The National Grid would go towards paying of the capital loan used for the installation of the panels. Any profits made by the co-op will be re-invested into the scheme to further its aims of providing cheaper, greener energy for Bristol homes.
Previous government subsidy of solar panels was cut by 50% in the last budget due to the public's uptake on solar panel installation in general. However, the panels are now cheaper, and cheaper still when bought in bulk. Combined with the saving on energy bills a profit can still be made when switching to this greener way of creating energy.
David Saunders has high hopes for the project and is optimistic about the uptake of solar power on a global scale. According to recent surveys 15% of the world's energy could be solar powered by 2030. Sauders believes it is possible to achieve 100% by 2022.
Saunders and Bristol Power are currently focusing on the Lockleaze area as the houses are similar in design, which makes the installation process easier. All interest in this pioneering project can be registered via their website and if you are lucky enough to have a suitable roof then the installation process can begin. Any electricity produced can then be used absolutely free of charge.
There is enough sunlight in the Bristol area to create about 1000 hours of electricity, whatever isn't used can then be sold to The National Grid via the Co-op who will be paid what is called an 'export tariff'. The Co-op also has hopes that any excess energy can be used locally creating more energy sustainability within the local community.