Carbon Smart worked with Burnham Parish Council to take their initial idea to reality – realising double figure return on investment, and carbon savings of 40tCO2e each year.
We approached Burnham Parish Council to discuss an application to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) for a feasibility study grant. Burnham Parish Council secured £15k to cover technical and financial feasibility assessments and developing the technical specifications to appoint a supplier. The two sites are the flagship Hall in the centre of the village, and a sports pavilion offering changing facilities for multiple local football clubs, and a dance school.
The project was delivered in three phases –
Phase 1: Laying the foundation
Through our extensive experience in supporting Parish Councils, community groups and businesses to implement solar PV; we worked with the Council to discover the potential for solar PV and energy storage at the two sites. A thorough feasibility study took shape in three key steps:
- Consumption profiling of the sites
- Site visits to assess suitability of solar PV and to identify any issues like shading,
- Choosing a suitable system size for the two buildings and developing the technical specifications to issue to potential suppliers.
This portion of the work was completed in winter 2018.
Phase 2: Engaging the public
Once the preferred system sizes were selected, our energy experts supported Burnham Parish Council to conduct community consultation exercises – these involved running drop-in sessions for members of the public to come and raise any concerns, developing posters about the benefits of the proposed systems for the community, and responding to any inbound enquiries from the public.
All these activities enabled Burnham Parish Council to access the financing they needed for the installation from the Public Works Loans Board. Due to the revenue streams Burnham Parish Council was able to access from the feed-in tariff, export payments, and reduced running costs, the cost of borrowing was less than the anticipated return on investment for the Council.