Solar Panels

SSCES wins the Community Group of the Year Award at the Believe in Somerset Award Presentation in December 2016


South Somerset Community Energy (SSCES) is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, whose aims are to reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills, especially for those in fuel poverty, throughout South Somerset.

The Society is owned by its Members (investors) and is governed by a Set of Rules approved by the FCA. A key point is that any surplus the Society generates has to be put towards other community energy and fuel poverty projects across the district of South Somerset.

We will fund and manage renewable energy installations in the district of South Somerset, starting with installing solar PV systems on schools, community buildings, businesses and private homes. Our pilot projects are in Yeovil, the principal town in South Somerset. We have fitted solar PV systems to Westfield Academy and Abbey Community Association's hall and these are now generating electricity.

Extract from the Secretary’s Report for SSCES AGM, 21st June 2018

When I reported to you in June last year, we had just achieved full accreditation of our second batch of installations at Holyrood Academy (Chard) and Stanchester Academy (Stoke sub Hamdon) at the original high Feed In Tariff rates, despite some hairy moments along the way.

We have been earning Feed In Tariffs from these installations and from the original large installation at Westfield Academy, and a small installation at Abbey Manor Community Hall over the past year. We have struggled with the complexity of export meters at Westfield due to technical problems and have installed export meters at the other installations. This allows us to earn ‘Export Tariffs’ as well as ‘Feed-In Tariffs’ and to work out exactly how many units to charge the host buildings (which is the difference between the units generated and the units exported to the grid). We can report that all the right meters are now in place and working.

Another issue has been the reliability of the online monitoring from solar web. This is a ‘nice to have’ in that we can still claim the income due from our reading of the meters, but the solar web provides a valuable on-line check that everything is working OK and a quick warning if intervention is needed for example in the event of an inverter failure. We have also been studying the performance of the systems against prediction and looking for ways to tweak them to enhance that. One success is that Western Power Distribution, the so-called “Distribution Network Operator”, has now lifted the export limit for Holyrood Academy, so more electricity can be exported when it is surplus to requirements.

So this year has been one of consolidation and technical and financial refinement and as we consider further investments, we can assure shareholders that the initial risks of their enterprise have now largely been mitigated. We can recommend again that the target 6% interest may be paid, although we have not yet got to the point when we can allocate money to the community fund for environmental and ethical projects. Hopefully we will be able to do that soon.

Solarsense have continued to be our valuable partner in system supply and ongoing consultancy service, and we believe have continued to deliver value for money as one of the UK’s most successful and reliable installers.

See the full Secretaries Report in the Downloads section.

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