Since Springhead’s solar photovoltaic panels were installed six years ago, they have generated just over 100,000 kWh (kilowatt hours), saving energy and money.
The ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array, which was installed next to Springhead’s car park in May 2015, converts sunlight into electricity. Any surplus electricity generated is fed into the National Grid, which helps reduce the need to generate electricity from fossil fuel power stations. Springhead’s 3 kW crossflow hydropower turbine, which uses water from the lake to generate electricity, has also been a successful investment, generating nearly 50,000 kWh since it was installed in 2016.
Both the installations are owned and managed by local community investment company, Energize Stur Valley Industrial and Provident Society (ESVIPS). Keith Wheaton Green, a volunteer with ESVIPS, who helps to maintain the renewable technology, explains that as well as saving energy, the panels and turbine save money for the charity: ‘To date, we have billed Springhead £3,403 for the electricity used, saving Springhead £6,760 in electricity bills from their supplier’.
‘A new domestic solar PV array of 12 panels (4 kW) costing around £4,500 installed, will earn about £110 a year from export to the grid and save about £400 in reduced electricity bills’, says Keith Wheaton Green. ‘So it will have paid for itself in 9 years at the latest.’