From September 2015 to February 2016 Spirit installed and commissioned Solar PV systems for 20 buildings spread out over Andover College, and Sparsholt College near Winchester. The arrays ranged from 32 to 400 panels on each roof. These all contributed to a total of over 2,500 BenQ 250W and BenQ 260W panels.
It was the largest educational solar PV installation in the UK at the time of writing.
The system was funded under a solar PPA, with Sparsholt and Andover College benefitting from cheap solar electricity.
The system was preaccredited so all systems could benefit from the higher 2015 Feed-In Tariff rate.
Dr Alan Whitehead, MP, Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change) attended an event at the College on Friday 10 June 2016 to celebrate the installation.
During his address to the audience including a number of leading figures from the sustainable energy industry, he said:
“I have spent many years in Parliament promoting the transition of energy to renewables. This is a revolutionary initiative which I can’t praise highly enough and credit to everyone involved. This initiative has scale and similar schemes should be developed up and down the country with organisations generating and supplying their own energy. I confidentially predict that Sparsholt will have a generating asset for the local grid which is something we need for the future. Sparsholt can show people how to take the revolution forward and I wish the College every success in getting a wider palette in creating energy”.
Sparsholt and Andover College Principal Tim Jackson said:
“We are incredibly proud of this achievement which is hugely significant to the College in terms of realising our sustainable energy ambitions. The carbon dioxide savings since only April is the equivalent to 118,811 litres of oil fuel or 16,417 cubic metres of natural gas or 18 tonnes of coal. We are is firmly committed to introducing further technologies which reduce its carbon footprint while also developing a centre to train for the skills required by future generations looking to work in the renewable energy sector”