Category: Press Coverage

Greatest Hits Radio features RenEnergy consultancy project

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils in Suffolk have allocated over £600k to spend on the ‘greening’ of two local leisure centre sites.

The planned projects include the installation of two solar carports and EV charge points to offset the carbon emissions created by the sites. The project ties in with the council’s wider plans to tackle climate change.

RenEnergy was engaged to conduct the technical feasibility studies for both sites, outlining the possible ‘best case scenarios’ to ensure the local authorities achieve the maximum benefit from the solar generation.

Click here to read the full story on Greatest Hits Radio’s website.

Solar Power Portal covers RenEnergy’s solar carport for Aviva in Perth

Photo of newspaper with RenEnergy and Solar Power Portal logo

We completed one of the UK’s largest combined solar and energy storage carports for global insurer, Aviva, at their offices in Perth, Scotland.

The installation includes 3,283 solar PV panels set to generate 812,000kWh. Around 77% of that figure will be used by the offices while the remainder will be stored in the 1.8MWh energy storage system, either for later use or for export to the grid. The storage system is to feature Tesla Powerpack technology, which is set to manage the flow of electricity between the solar modules, office buildings, grid and electric vehicle chargers.

The solar carport, combined with its state-of-the-art battery storage system, will allow the site to operate ‘off grid’ for up to five hours a day during peak times.

Here’s what Aviva’s COO, Nick Amin, had to say about the installation:

“The Perth solar and storage initiative is a great example of how Aviva is innovating to secure a sustainable energy supply and support the electric vehicle revolution.”

Click here to read the full article over on Solar Power Portal. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RenEnergy founder, Damian, quoted in Parking News

Photo of newspaper with parking news logo

Our founder and managing director, Damian Baker, is quoted in Parking News: trade publication for the parking and traffic management industry.

For once, we’re not talking about solar panels or solar carports! We feature in an article about how organisations can incorporate social values into their operations. While public sector bodies have Social Value Charters that commit them to CSR and staff wellbeing, many private sector companies do these under their own steam.

Screenshot of British Parking News article

Damian spoke to journalist, Sarah Juggins, about how RenEnergy incorporates social values into daily life. Here’s what he said:

“Like most private sector organisations, RenEnergy does not have a Social Values Charter. However, we do naturally incorporate a number of social values into our operations.

We use renewable energy to power and heat our offices, and earlier this year we completed an energy efficiency audit to reduce our overall energy consumption and carbon emissions. We also use our expertise as part of Norwich Community Solar: a cooperative that helps solar projects off the ground for community organisations (such as sports centres).

Internally, we offer extensive training for staff, and put employees through apprenticeships to upskill. We have a number of working parents on the team, so allow flexibility to accommodate their other commitments. As well as being in line with our company principles, these things simply make good business sense.”

You can read the full article online: check us out on page 16!

RenEnergy solar carport for Aviva achieves ‘highly commended’ at Solar & Storage Live Awards

newspaper image with solar power portal

Our solar carport for Aviva was ‘highly commended’ at the Solar & Storage Live Awards last week.

We were thrilled to be nominated for the ‘commercial solar project of the year’ at Solar Power Portal’s Solar & Storage Live Awards last week.

We didn’t win, but we’re thrilled to be highly commended by the judges. We’re very proud of our solar carport for Aviva, so it feels great to receive external recognition for the project.  More importantly, the team thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the awards ceremony at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

Congratulations to the winners, Meadowhall Shopping Centre. We’ll be back next year to see if we can get another award under our belt.

Click here to read Solar Power Portal’s write-up of the awards.

RenEnergy and NCFC solar panel partnership featured in EDP

Blog banner: RenEnergy in EDP

Our solar installation for Norwich City FC’s training ground is featured in local news publication, the Eastern Daily Press.

The EDP has published an article on our recent solar roof installation at NCFC’s Lotus Training Centre. The work was completed as part of a £5m fan-funded redevelopment of the club’s training facilities.

Journalist, Caroline Culot, provided a great write-up of the project, as well as our new partnership with Norwich City FC. We’re sponsoring the team for the 2019/20 season as they take on the Premier League: read more about it here.

Screen shot of RenEnergy in the EDP newspaper

Our solar carport for Aviva Norwich featured in Parking News

RenEnergy’s solar carport at Aviva Horizon, Norwich is featured in the September issue of Parking News.

Parking News is the monthly publication for the British Parking Association: the trade body for the parking and traffic management profession. Back in July, we invited Sarah Juggins, journalist for Parking News, along to our open day at Aviva Horizon.

Turn to page 20 of the online publication to see Sarah’s write up of our Aviva solar carport project.

RenEnergy featured in Parking News

RenEnergy’s NCFC project featured in Solar Power Portal

Photo of newspaper with RenEnergy and Solar Power Portal logo

Thanks to Solar Power Portal for publishing an article about our recent installation at partnership with Norwich City Football Club.

We installed a double roof array at the club’s Lotus Training Centre as part of a £5m redevelopment.

Completing the installation as part of the ongoing work at Colney Lane minimised disruption at the site. The installation helps offset the unavoidable energy usage and C02 emissions associated with running a football club.

Ben Kensell, COO at Norwich City, added: “We are delighted to welcome on board RenEnergy. They have been able to offer us a renewable and long-lasting solution to our energy consumption at the Lotus Training Centre which falls directly in-line with the aim of lowering our carbon footprint.”

You can read the full article over on Solar Power Portal.

 

RenEnergy & partner Q-Cells featured in PV Europe

PV Europe has published an article about on our recent partnership project with Q-Cells. We completed a largest solar array at Natures Menu: the largest pet food manufacturer in Europe.

You can read the full article on the PV Europe website. 

Here’s a short excerpt from the article…

“The 522.6k kW array was constructed at the main production facility of Natures Menu, a British producer of high-quality pet food. This solar system is the largest in Europe to be built using Q CELLS’ Q.FLAT-G5, and generates solar electricity using 1,608 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules.

Allied to a growing appetite nationwide for clean, renewable energy and greater energy independence is the simple fact that solar PV components are becoming more and more affordable by the day. The pet food production facility of Natures Menu will self-consume the solar electricity generated by the 522 kW array.

Developer RenEnergy finished construction of the rooftop array in July 2019. By utilizing the Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system, RenEnergy was able to streamline the installation process thanks to the Q.FLAT’s innovative design. The Q.FLAT-G5 has been proven to deliver a power density of 170 W/m².”

Solar + Power Management features RenEnergy and Q-Cells partnership

Solar Power + Management logo with newspaper and RenEnergy logo

Solar trade publication, Solar + Power Management, has profiled RenEnergy and Q-Cells recent solar installation at Natures Menu. This is the largest flat roof installation in Europe using Q-Cells’ mounting system.

You can read the full article online on the Solar + Power Management website.

Here’s just a taste of the piece…

“Damian Baker, Managing Director from RenEnergy, said: “We were delighted to once again partner with Q CELLS on the construction of the 522.6 kWp rooftop PV project for Natures Menu. We believe this installation is yet another encouraging example of UK businesses investing in green electricity, and taking control of their energy spend. By self-consuming the solar electricity onsite, and by using top-quality and competitively priced Q CELLS components, Natures Menu will enjoy an exceptional return on income right from the get-go.”

Sean Collier, Head of UK Sales for Q CELLS, added: “It is a pleasure to have supplied the Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system and Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules to this project by RenEnergy. The UK solar market may not grab the headlines for record-breaking levels of solar installation like it used to, but in many ways we are even more encouraged by the way the market has evolved: it has become a sustainable growth industry packed with plenty of opportunities for a company like Q CELLS. The social capital of solar grows daily in the UK, and as the economics begin to make more and more sense, we expect solar to play an increasingly central role in the nation’s electricity sector over the coming decades.”

The UK’s solar sector is enjoying a more stable year in 2019 after having contracted in 2018, when new installations reached just 286 MW for the year (according to SolarPower Europe). Over the coming four-year period, however, SolarPower Europe expects close to 3 GW of additional capacity additions in the UK. This would represent sustained healthy growth for the market, and continued opportunities for Q CELLS, which was ranked as the UK market leader in 2018 according to EuPD Research’s Global PV InstallerMonitor 2018/2019 Survey.”

RenEnergy & Q-Cells featured in Smart Solar

Image of newspaper with the smart solar logo

Smart Solar has profiled RenEnergy and Q-Cells’ recent solar installation at Natures Menu: the largest pet food manufacturer in Europe.

You can read the full piece online here.

Here’s a taste of the article from Smart Solar…

“British renewable energy developer RenEnergy has built Europe’s largest flat rooftop solar installation to use Q CELLS’ Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system – a 522 kWp array at the site of quality pet food manufacturer Natures Menu in Norfolk. The array will also utilize 1,608 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules.

Q CELLS, solar cell and module manufacturer, supplied its award-winning Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system and Q.PEAK DUO-G5 solar modules to British clean energy developer RenEnergy for a commercial rooftop in Norfolk, UK.

The 522.6kWp array was constructed at the main production facility of Natures Menu, a British producer of high-quality pet food. This solar system is the largest in Europe to be built using Q CELLS’ Q.FLAT-G5, and generates solar electricity using 1,608 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules.

Allied to a growing appetite nationwide for clean, renewable energy and greater energy independence is the simple fact that solar PV components are becoming more and more affordable by the day. The pet food production facility of Natures Menu will self-consume the solar electricity generated by the 522 kWp array.”

RenEnergy’s first solar carport project featured in the EDP

Blog banner: RenEnergy in EDP

We spoke to the EDP about our solar carport for Aviva’s Horizon building

RenEnergy’s first solar carport project has gained media exposure in local newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press.

We spoke to EDP journalist, Caroline Culot, ahead of our open day at the Aviva Horizon Building in July. Her short piece covers the scope of our solar carport project, and why generating sustainable energy on-site was important to Aviva.

Screenshot of RenEnergy's solar carport at Aviva featured in EDP newspaper

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Across the course of a year, this system will provide more than 32pc of the site’s total energy demand, representing a carbon offset saving of 166.5 tonnes per year, and a major contribution towards Aviva’s efforts to tackle climate change.

In 2006 Aviva became the first carbon neutral international insurer, and is working towards a 70pc reduction in operational CO2 emissions across the whole company by 2030.

Stuart Wright, property and facilities manager at Aviva said:

‘The solar carport is a really innovative way to generate green energy, tackle climate change and reduce our environmental impact. It’s a fantastic design that delivers on the environmental benefits without impacting on space.’”

Thanks to EDP for the write-up, and to Aviva for collaborating with us on the open day event.

 

Industry Q&A with RenEnergy MD Damian Baker

RenEnergy recently began construction on a 1.9MW solar farm for Briar Chemicals, one of the last of its kind to be supported by ROC accreditation.

With the 31 March deadline for the closure of the subsidy scheme looming, founder and managing director of RenEnergy Damian Baker explained to SPP what the future holds for large scale solar deployment in a post-ROC world.

How do you see the removal of subsidy under the ROC scheme affecting the power purchase agreement (PPA) and large scale solar market?

I think that going forward post-ROC, if you’ve got the right project with the right counter party with the right energy usage on site you can make a deal work but everything’s got to be right. If there’s a developer involved they can’t take very much of a margin, you’ve got to have a site with no shading, high onsite usage but the PPA deal won’t be as good as we gave Briar Chemicals.

The removal of ROCs will certainly change the financial structure of future deals. What impact will this have on PPAs going forward and how can you ensure a good return?

We don’t class ourselves as a traditional EPC, we class ourselves as someone who brings and will own the systems. So we’re not looking at it just on what margin we can make, we’re looking at the longer term and we think the margins are going to be thinner all the way through. It’s all going to be about quality of installation and strength of counter party and how the project looks over the next 15-20 years.

The reality is your asset has to perform 100% from day one because when it comes to selling that asset on or even getting the yield yourself, margins are going to be skinny all the way through. It needs to do what it says on the tin from day one.

We look after all our O&M and when we look back over sites we’ve installed, we’re getting really good yields.

What are the advantages of coming out of the ROC system?

The deadlines have been too tight [and] then they were pushing for cheaper prices so you ended up with a perfect storm rather than looking at the best long-term opportunity and then making sure it was installed correctly.

What I’m hoping is that planning horizons will lengthen out so we can work on all these things that historically we’ve not been able to do because there wasn’t enough time. So you bring that planning horizon into a longer more sustainable business and I think that is the right approach.

We’ve got to move into a sustainable industry; solar PV has been a very sustainable product but in the least sustainable industry. You’re giving people a 25 year investment yet the companies installing the stuff aren’t sustainable.

 

“We’ve got to move into a sustainable industry; solar PV has been a very sustainable product but in the least sustainable industry.”

What new strategies are you looking at for the post-ROC market?

Big industrial users are paying very little for their energy but when you get to people who can take 100kW and use most of it they’re still going to be paying a certain amount for their energy and that makes it very much more viable. You’ve got a slightly higher legal cost but if you then have a generic lease, there’s potentially a little more in it and people can benefit more, so instead of them paying 12p you can probably get it to 8.5-9p.

Aside from PPAs, what other grid scale opportunities do you see for solar development without subsidy?

You’re going to have to have an off-taker. Unless they make sleeving much easier I can’t see that we’re going to get direct into the grid for 5p for a while. I think within four or five years that market will be back on.

[Until then] there’s a huge amount of opportunity out there. We’re seeing the grid open up in some places so we’ve got a number of clients that have 200-250kW [systems] which we’ll be moving into, working on community schemes.

If you look at a lot of the housing developments going in, some of these are going to have massive power needs and I’m not sure where the grid is going to come from. I think there will be an opportunity to set up a micro-grid using gas CHP and microgrids with solar and renewables all plumbed in together and then you become the power company for those housing developments.

Companies like us would be able to lead that and take all that responsibility off the housing developer. The DNOs will struggle to get power out to people and they’re going to be charging a lot of money.

If you can say ‘give us the deal to power your 2,000 houses for the next 25 years, we’ll give you market related prices, say 12p/kW for a whole housing estate’, we could easily do that and get good margins and then the project is very green.

Originally published in Solar Power Portal on 9 March 2017