Cambridge Regional College
In 2015, EvoEnergy were approached by the Cambridge Regional College to install a 250 kWp PV system on the ample roof space of the various buildings around the college campus. The college invited EvoEnergy and 6 other companies that were on the Pro6 framework to tender for the project with the client’s primary objectives to lower the college’s carbon footprint, greatly reduce the site’s energy bills and receive a good return on their investment.
Cambridge Regional College already had several PV systems installed on-site, therefore EvoEnergy proposed a solution that utilised the same inverter equipment (ABB) as the existing system to make life easier for the client in terms of familiarity, compatibility and to offer the same point of contact in case of any issues. Following a detailed onsite survey, EvoEnergy also identified that splitting the system over four specific rooftops would maximise the generation potential; blocks E, F, G and J offered the most economic installations. Trina 275W panels were also specified to offer the highest efficiency and best value.
Despite not offering the cheapest price, EvoEnergy won the contract by demonstrating excellent installation capability over the rest of the competition, in addition to offering quality products that matched the existing system with warranties that gave the client peace of mind. Remote monitoring of the PV system (via eMig) and a live visual display in the college reception were also factors that offered added value to the client.
Inconveniently, when the project was submitted to the DNO for grid connection permission, the response back required EvoEnergy to call on their ability to overcome grid constraints; the DNO had declined the connection due to the lack of capacity on the grid in Cambridgeshire to accept anymore locally generated electricity (via export).
EvoEnergy’s design and technical team jumped into action to present a new solution that would satisfy the grid export limitation. Due to the manner in which electricity was distributed on the site, a single export limitation device – originally pioneered by EvoEnergy – was not a possible solution. EvoEnergy therefore evaluated each college block to determine the location of maximum power consumption onsite and proposed reducing the number of blocks that were to be installed upon to 3 key energy consuming blocks. Three separate export limitation devices were then installed to ensure that the college exported no electricity as per the limitation imposed by the DNO. This change in design also meant that two of the original buildings selected for the PV installation were changed; A, F and J were selected, where originally E, F, G and J had been chosen.
The installation was delivered over a period of 4 weeks with the installation team utilising rope access techniques on two of the rooftops to eliminate the need for scaffolding and minimise disruption to the staff and students. The PV system was also installed battling adverse weather conditions in November and December to ensure the client received the higher feed-in tariff rates ahead of the deep cuts that came into effect in January 2016.
The installation of a display in the college’s reception gave students, staff and visitors a live reading of the electricity generated by the PV system; this was perfect synergy in particular for the students that were enrolled on the practical solar installation course that is tutored at the college.
For more information on our solar panel installation service for education, read our solar for schools service page.