Funding Round Allows for 15 New Solar PV Projects

The remote Scottish island of Foula, Shetland’s most westerly island with a population of just 31, is completely isolated from the national grid and must generate all of its power locally. A new government grant will be used to build a hybrid system that will provide 100 percent of the island’s power requirements through the use of a photovoltaic array fitted to the community hall roof and a hydro electric plant. This is just one of many new solar PV project made possible through the latest funding round from the government.

UK Energy Minister Mike O’Brien announced that 15 new solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects across the UK will receive almost GBP 1 million (USD 1.9 million) in funding, bringing the total amount awarded to medium and large-scale projects since the Government established its scheme in 2002 to GBP 17.4 million (USD 33.3 million). “Projects in the hearts of our towns and cities and in the remotest islands are set to benefit from this next round of funding for solar generation,” O’Brien said. “Solar installations are a visual reminder that we need to be increasingly innovative in our electricity generation if we are to stop our day to day lives damaging the environment.” Part of the Government’s aim is to see the UK generating 10 percent of its electricity needs from renewable resources by 2010. The solar PV grant program is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and managed by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Since the establishment of the program, 166 medium and large-scale projects from throughout the UK have been granted funding, and on completion should generate 5391 kWp of electricity. “We are delighted that we have been able to offer grant funding to such a wide variety of forward-thinking projects,” said Kirk Archibald, Solar PV Program Manager at EST. “The judges were pleased with the overall standard of applicants and encouraged to see the excellent work being carried out throughout the UK to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” Recipients of this round of solar PV grant awards include: – London’s National Maritime Museum, which is going to use the installation to generate renewable energy for the site. It will also incorporate it into an Eco-exhibition, where the use of solar power will be discussed and the photovoltaic system’s monitoring equipment will form part of the exhibit. – Moreton Hall Primary School in Suffolk will use the funding to install a photovoltaic array that will provide 20 percent of all energy consumption within the new primary school. – Following Plymouth Council’s phased installation of 350 solar powered bus stops the Council is using its grant to rebuild its bus interchange. This will see 112 advanced hybrid-crystalline photovoltaic modules built along a curved standing seam roof, which has the potential for excellent public exposure.
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