Solar EnergyIn 2011 after an ever increasing electricity bill and the introduction of the FiT, we decided to look at installing solar pv. We hoped that this would be connected straight into us here at The Olde House and give us some security in the future if electricity prices were to increase. After a long planning and construction phase we commissioned our 250kw system in July and have been providing our energy needs ever since.
The electricity produced by these solar panels feeds directly into our electric house, which supplies all our cottages, the swimming pool and farm buildings. Any surplus electricity is fed into the national grid.
We use electricity 24 hour a day, the solar panels only produce electricity during daylight hours, and therefore we still import electricity during the night. However during the daylight hours we produce a lot more than we actually need and so this electricity offsets what we use at night.
We looked at mounting the panels on the roofs of the farm sheds, but decided against this because of the dust and the birds. After long negotiations with Cornwall Council and Aardvark our environmental consultants, a field site for this array was agreed close to the main farm.
The panels are fixed to a framework 800mm above the ground, which allows continuous grazing of the land below.
Plug into the Sun from Penzance were our main contractors and carried out all of the electrical work along with Molevalley Farmers who provided the solar panels and JPCS who provided the Groundscrew and Krinner frames
During this project we became members of WREN (Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network) who are a co-operative and whose aims are to establish a low carbon economy within Wadebridge and the surrounding parishes. We are committed to contributing a percentage of our generated income above a set threshold each year to their community fund.
Looking to the future, we are going to provide electric car charge points, for use by our visitors and the general public. We are also researching electric powered vehicles for staff use in and around the farm and the holiday cottage complex.
Everyone is more than welcome to come and see our solar array, so call in anytime for a tour.