Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op successfully tendered for an opportunity with MaidEnergy to install solar PV at a local school. MaidEnergy is a member-owned cooperative that offers local people the opportunity to invest in community energy projects that reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability across the Thames Valley. Since then, our relationship has gone from strength to strength, seeing us partner on two further solar projects.
We have now worked with MaidEnergy across a range of solar PV projects:
Furze Platt School – 26 kW
Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op designed and installed a flat-roof-mounted solar array at this Maidenhead school. Because of the amount of equipment that had to be moved around the site and to ensure pupils were kept safe, we carried out this installation over half term. Despite severe weather, we were able to complete the array on time and on budget.
Thames Valley Athletics Centre – 78 kW
Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op’s second installation for MaidEnergy saw us installing a SolarEdge-optimised system at a large athletics centre in Windsor. The array was made up of 277 x 280 W panels and we used a roof-integrated system to minimise roof loads.
Braywick Leisure Centre – 108 kW
Our most recent collaboration with MaidEnergy was at Braywick Leisure Centre in Maidenhead. This was a near-perfect project for community energy. The centre was still under construction, the roof was new, and the council-owned site had a large predicted power demand. We designed an array that would optimise on-site usage and integrate with the centre’s combined heat and power system. Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op installed 264 x 410 W panels optimised to maximise self-consumption and work with an existing combined heat and power system. We also partnered with the roof covering manufacturer to design a roof clamping system that wouldn’t jeopardise the roof warranty. Though the wider construction faced Covid-19 delays, we were able to successfully install this ambitious solar PV array.
We believe community energy is the way forward for tackling a whole host of issues from climate change to fuel poverty. Fundamentally, communities getting together and investing in projects that have financial and environmental benefits is a very positive thing, and we’re thrilled to be working with cooperatives like MaidEnergy to bring them to life.
Communicate effectively – Whether we are coordinating with architects, designers, and builders or talking to community volunteers, it’s really important to have rigorous project management and coordinated communication in place – recognising that not everyone has the same level of understanding about solar PV technology. This is important advice for any type of community energy project.
Talk to experts – There are a huge amount of community energy group resources out there and many knowledgeable people are willing to give their time and expertise. Community Energy South is a great place to start for any group, and at Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op, we’re always happy to chat with people looking and to give advice.
Understand the details – Is the roof strong enough for solar panels? Does it face in the right direction? How new is the roof? How much power is consumed on-site? How will you connect to the grid? Do you need to get permission from the freeholder? There are so many questions when it comes to a solar PV project and you must have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and the details that you need to complete a project successfully.
Client engagement and feedback
Financial savings and returns