The panels have arrived! Our 307* panels for Downlands School have arrived at the docks, ready for installation to start on Saturday 14 February. The weather forecast is not too bad for half-term week — rain wouldn’t stop play but ice and snow would! In order to get the panels up while the school is closed Solar Resources and their installation team from PDP Solar are planning to work the weekends as well as half-term week. It will be a challenge to get everything done in time, but a week of decent weather would really help.
(* The number of panels has been finally determined by panel availability, with individual panels now to be rated at 260 watts. Earlier figures for the number of panels related to either 250 or 300 watt panels.)
If all goes well the panels will be in place and starting to generate electricity by 23 February. However, the full commissioning process to get the FIT payments started will take a bit longer to get in place.
Once the panels are up we’ll be ready to celebrate the completion of our first project. We’re planning a celebration event with Downlands School on Friday 20 March from 3pm to 5pm. Please mark your diaries and join us if you can.
Did you catch the BBC’s Inside Out South programme on community energy from 2nd February? It’s an interesting review of different kinds of energy projects across the south (hydro, wind and solar), and the issues involved. If you missed it you can watch it on iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/
As our first project gets closer to completion we are thinking to the second project and beyond. We’re identifying suitable buildings in our three villages, and looking at different models of business plans that could help us get solar panels on as many of them as possible over the next few years. If you know of buildings (community buildings or commercial ones) that might be suitable please let us know so we can add them to our review list.
Chris Handel, Chair John Willis, Secretary
Juliet Merrifield, Treasurer Darren Berman, Director
Bec Hanley, Director