All 16 Dorset Community Energy solar PV installations have now been installed for 12 months or more, so it is possible to view annual total electricity generation data and compare it with initial estimates. The performance to date has been 5% higher than original estimates- which is good news for schools and members.
All 16 sites with Dorset Community Energy solar PV installations are fitted with solar generation meters that can be read remotely online, which is a great help when submitting quarterly Feed-in Tariff meter readings. We have prepared a summary of the annual generation data which can be viewed here.
The table clearly shows the benefit of having a large portfolio of 16 sites in different locations. As can be seen, the solar generation at Thomas Hardye School was lower than estimated due to a complex problem with the solar inverter software settings, which was finally successfully corrected in March 2017. There was also reduced generation for a time at Lytchett Matravers Primary School due to some solar panels needing to be temporarily removed and replaced during chimney work on the roof.
However, the solar generation at all other sites was higher than estimated, with south- facing roofs near the coast performing particularly well. The average annual generation across all sites was 1000kWh of solar electricity/ per kW of installed solar panels, which is higher than nationally accepted solar estimates, and especially good as some sites don’t have directly south–facing roof orientation. Perhaps ‘sunny Dorset’ is justified!