Solar PV installation at Chiltern District Council Offices and Chesham Leisure Centre

Chiltern District Council is committed to sustainable development and is working hard to ensure that sustainable principals are embedded into all of the Council’s activities.

They have made a commitment to reduce Chiltern's carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency through local mitigation and adaptation while promoting the sustainable use of resources.

In the current climate of budget cuts and rising energy costs they also wanted to reduce the costs of their electricity bills, become less dependent on their electricity suppliers and give themselves some long term energy security. After careful consideration of suitable available technologies, Chiltern District Council decided to invest in a Solar Photovoltaic system for the roof of King George V Council Offices and the Chesham Leisure Center. The project was put out to tender in September and InstaGen were successful in winning the tender in November 2011.

Not only has the effort paid off in terms of the positive comments received from members of the community and through the energy that will be generated at the sites, but the Council now also has a regular income from the Feed in Tariff associated with the scheme.

InstaGen Services
Both projects required detailed site survey, system design and careful management. Being high profile public buildings meant special care had to be given to the projects. InstaGen and its specialist team worked hard with the Council’s Principle Engineer to ensure each stage in the process covered all the necessary legal and health and safety requirements for such an installation.

Project Delivery
Site surveys were carried out on both the buildings by InstaGen’s renewable energy consultant, Waldon Energy. Having carried out a detailed survey of both premises Waldon Energy proposed a bespoke design to improve the efficiency of the system on the Council Offices, with a simpler panel system on the Leisure Centre roof.

The bespoke system was needed at the Council Offices due to one of the south facing roofs having an atrium connected to the offices, so the system was designed with four inverters, split over three different roofs. The Fronius IG Plus 120 and IG Plus 150 models were used and a detailed string design was produced. There were certain areas of the building that had severe shading, so careful attention was given to the design so the performance would not be affected.

At the Leisure Centre the system was designed so the panels spread across both roofs. The design here meant that only one central inverter needed to be installed, the Fronius CL 48 with the Fronius string controller. At this site there was no issue with shading.

Detailed drawings clearly displayed the exact layout of the system to the Council. The drawings included the scaffolding plan, areas of no access, where the welfare facilities would be situated during build, and the necessary health and safety requirements. The Council reviewed the layout of the panels to ensure they were happy with the design and the aesthetics each step of the way.

Planning permission was obtained by the Council prior to the tender process so Waldon Energy, who would normally apply for planning permission on behalf of the client, did not need to do so in this case.

DNO approval
Consultation was carried out with UK Power Networks under G59/2 for both the Council Offices and the Leisure Centre. Due to the time constraints of delivering the project, the project team pushed to get the acceptance through within one week.

Energy Efficient Buildings in Chiltern
Chiltern District Council now has two buildings with Solar PV panels installed and following the success of these is considering a third. The energy generated will help offset the cost of their annual electricity bill and help meet their CO2 emission reduction targets.

Combined the schemes produce 99.8kWp (kilowatts-peak) per annum, split between the Council Offices and the Leisure Centre. This is enough energy to power approximately 20% of the buildings needs.

Aim of Project:
To reduce the Council’s energy costs, dependence on energy suppliers and building CO2 emissions.
Energy Output: 99.8kWp
- 49.9kWp on Council Offices
- 49.9kWp on Council Leisure Centre
- 408 InstaGen 245w Monocrystalline Solar Modules
- Selection of Fronius Inverters
Payback: 6 -8 years

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