Brendon Energy had a big challenge with our first project. Soon after we had raised funds from our 2011 share offer and were making arrangements to install solar panels on two community buildings, the government announced big cuts to the feed-in tariff at short-notice. We had to modify our original plans and move fast to ensure we could install before the cuts came into effect.
An order was placed with local company Eco-Exmoor to install 123 panels (28.9 kWp) on the south-facing roof of the Children’s Centre (now Paddocks Nursery) in Wiveliscombe. Within a few weeks and with the co-operation of all involved, we commissioned a structural survey, applied for planning permission, obtained a permit for the grid connection, agreed a lease to use the roof with the County Council, agreed arrangements to safely install the panels, while allowing the Children’s Centre to remain fully open, and arranged insurance on our new installation, as well as ensuring we had access to funds to pay the bills.
We are grateful to Eco-Exmoor, The Children’s Society and Somerset County Council for their assistance in helping to make the project possible.
Work commenced at the Children’s Centre in November 2011 and was completed in good time before the 12 December deadline. See photos on installation work, our great launch event in January 2012 and how the panels are now performing.