10kWp solar power system for an elderly care home in Hampshire

Solar power for elderly care home in Hampshire

by James Martin II on November 30, 2012

In a story of solar panels working for not only the environment but also the public good, Hampshire’s historic Knellwood elderly care home has installed a 10kWp solar system to help cut down on its power bills and invest in its future. Although the system is not particularly large by commercial standards, it is an excellent example of how even not-for-profit organisations–not to mention commercial premises and businesses–are reaping the economic benefits of solar panels.

According to Solar Power Portal, the care home’s management deemed the move to solar worthwhile after relentless increases in its electricity bills. Although other options were also considered, deliberations concluded that having a solar PV system installed would be the most appropriate solution for addressing the problem. The home’s preponderance of energy-intensive activities that take place during the day was a key reason for the selection of solar as a solution above others.

The home will save money mainly thanks to credits on its electricity bill via the UK’s solar feed-in tariff, which incentivises generation of power from solar PV systems on a ‘raw’ per-unit basis. Knellwood will see additional benefits, however, by using a significant portion of its system’s output to run its electrical equipment–including laundry services, lifts, and lighting–during daytime hours when the sun is shining and the panels are producing power. The UK government incentivises ‘self-consumption’ of solar power more heavily than export to the power grid through the solar feed-in tariff. This means that any organisation that uses the bulk of its power during daylight hours will reap greater benefits than organisations or individuals whose homes or buildings are not occupied during the day.

The system is anticipated to pay itself off within 8 years, but will continue producing power for 30+, according to Solar Power Portal. It is expected that over the course of its lifetime the system will provide financial benefits to Knellwood to the tune of approximately £35,000. Although it was not disclosed how much the care home paid for the installation or which components were used, one can deduce that with an 8 year payback period, the upfront cost of the system would have been around £15,500, and the annual return on investment should be in the range of 14%.

Given that the current going rate for a mid-range system is approximately £1.40/kW, it seems apparent that the Knellwood management team opted for premium products to ensure the longevity of its investment. Currently, standard payback periods on a typical solar system in the UK are currently more in the range of 5-6 years, with annual returns of up to 22%. (Read more about solar return on investment and payback periods.)

Solar Selections is well positioned to assist a wide range of organisations–including not-for-profits–to find a system and installer that best suits their needs.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Solar Panel March 14, 2013 at 6:59 am

The positive effect of these solar system is that it provides a vast form of electricity at free of cost.


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