Solar Voltaics has completed the construction of a 250KW ground mount solar array for a farmer on Hayling Island. The installation, consisting of over 1000 solar panels, will provide electricity to power farm buildings, machinery and agricultural processes.
Large-scale solar farms, typically several MW in size, are usually financed by institutional investors, but this relatively small array is a private investment by the farmer who is using the power generated to run his estate. Unlike most large solar farms, this solar array is connected to the client’s metered supply so that the generated solar energy is used to reduce the amount of electricity purchased from their electricity supplier. Any surplus energy is exported and sold back to the grid.
This Solar Farm model has a highly attractive return on investment. Firstly, because solar energy is used to displace electricity that would otherwise be purchased from an electricity supplier, the value of it is higher, as the purchase price of electricity is over twice that achievable for exporting it and selling it back to the grid. Secondly, because the solar array falls in the 150KW – 250KW Feed-In Tariff band the tariff level is over 50% higher than for systems larger than 250KW.
The scope of work delivered by Solar Voltaics included:-
- Pre-application advice & full planning approval
- Grid connection approval from SSE
- Commissioning & Testing
- Ofgem registration
In order for the array to be connected to the local grid a new transformer was required to handle the generated solar power . This was installed in parallel with the ground mounted solar array and a new electrical switch room constructed by the client as part of a major upgrade to the farms electrical distribution.
Teir 1 panels by CSun were used for the array and 8 ABB inverters installed for their high efficiency, build quality and service back up.
The IP65 rated inverters are field mounted under the panels to provide some protection and data networked back to a SolarLog monitoring portal to provide remote monitoring of power output and fault detection. In addition, consumption metering was installed to enable accurate visibility of the farm’s energy balance and the level of self-consumption.
To better understand how this solar farm was constructed then watch the time lapse video below.