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Milton Keynes goes solar

posted by Ruth Wharton on 15 June 2012

tags: EU , Feed in tariffs , renewable energy ,

Milton Keynes has made another step forward in its quest to reduce carbon emissions through the installation of a 165kWp photovoltaic system at the former bus station.  

The system has been installed as part of the European funded project, cRRescendo.

The system installation was completed 27th February 2012 and in the first 3 months generated approximately 60MWh of electricity – the equivalent to boiling 6.8million 1litre kettles, and saving approximately 21 tonnes of CO2 – enough to fill 4 hot air balloons...and the best months for solar are still yet to come!  The system covers an area of 1300m2 and thanks to Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) £6,000 has already been earned from the installation.  The expected payback period is within 13 years and it will continue to earn from FiTs for another 12 years.

Crystalline technology was used as it proved to be the most cost effective but other technologies considered included Evalon Solar and Solyndra.  The installation wasn’t straight forward, it took a long and complex design procedure and due to project and architectural constraints the panels had to be installed at a 6o angle of inclination.  Without constraints it might have been possible to increase the inclination to 30o and achieve a more efficient system.  Another significant complication was that the system had to be raised above the membrane of the roof.

The image below shows one section of the whole system and you can clearly see it isn’t resting on the roof membrane and is at a very slight inclination.

MK PV 18

The energy generated feeds directly to the grid as well as having the supplying a local youth charity Make a Difference with free electricity.

Milton Keynes Council is a signatory of the Nottingham Declaration on climate change and the EU Covenant of Mayors that includes a commitment to cut carbon emissions by at least 20% by 2020. With this in mind, Milton Keynes Council has set the ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions per person in the MK area by 40% by 2020, from a 2005 baseline.  This PV installation is a big step in helping to meet these targets and help the EU achieve its 20:20:20 targets.

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