The Woodside High School panels are owned and maintained by en10ergy, who sell the electricity they generate to the school at a discount from the usual market price. Electricity sales and the government’s Feed In Tariff, which everyone who installs pv panels is enttitled to, will provide en10ergy with an income to pay its investors. The price en10ergy charges for its electricity will save the school, and Riverside School for special needs, which shares the power supply, about £1400 a year.
en10ergy raised £95,000 through a community share offer to install photovoltaic panels on roofs at Woodside High School in Wood Green. In November 2017 around 150 panels were installed on the sports hall roof and are now generating clean solar electricity. Unfortunately we were able to install less panels than anticipated due to the unsuitability of part of the roof at Woodside School, which was revealed following detailed structural surveys. We are now working with other potential host sites to install the remaining panels during 2018.
About 34 tons of carbon emissions will be saved each year.
en10ergy will also provide a grant towards developing educational material which can use information from the solar panels for teaching in the schools, and will assist in the delivery of a suitable and creative teaching aid.
Solar panels installed on Woodside School’s sports hall
We have used an innovative financial model to raise capital for the project. Since government support for the renewables industry has been drastically reduced in recent years, driving a number of small providers out of business, it has been necessary to look for new ways of making community energy projects financially viable and appealing to those who would like to invest in them.
We will use the secure income from our existing generating facilities to back our current project by ensuring an interest rate on our shares of about 4% a year, and paying back a proportion of the capital invested each year as well. By doing this we can reduce the period of payback on the investment to 12 years. We feel that, given the age profile which research has shown to be typical of investors in socially beneficial projects like this, the period of twelve years will make a more attractive offer.