Sunday, 30 September 2012

Our first year of Solar

We have just passed the one year mark since our solar PV system was installed so its a good time to report on how the system has performed. Before having solar PV installed I looked at various calculators and modelers to see what sort of yield we could expect. This allowed us to calculate the expected return on our outlay and how long it would take to pay for itself. The EU has a calculator that uses satellite data to predict sunshine amounts for locations in the UK and most of  Europe which I used. This reported that our system should generate around 3640 kWh in a year. In fact we generated 4047 kWh in the year, around 11% above this figure which was very pleasing. This was despite the summer being rather poor.

This electricity generated equates to earnings from FIT revenue of around £1870. I have estimated that savings on our electricity bill will be at least £200, although the final figure could be quite a bit more. In total this gives us around £2075 which is just over 14% of our capital outlay. If the system continues to perform this well then we can expect it to pay off the capital cost in around 7 years.

There is a link to the EU solar PV modeler on my useful links page and there are also a number of other useful calculators included there. These are well worth a look if you are considering installing Solar PV as they give a reasonable idea of the likely returns possible. The cost of installing Solar PV systems has come down quite significantly in the last year so there are still opportunities to get a reasonable return if you have a suitable location.

It seems our solar panels have proved attractive to the local bird life as well as a family of pigeons seemed to have taken up residence on our roof over the summer. I need to get the ladder out and have a look when there is a suitable day. I doubt they will do any harm apart from blocking the gutters with nesting material but I will take a look to be sure.


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