With the government and in particular Chris Huhne making it clear that they do not want the feed-in tariffs to be tapped into by large scale solar farms, the focus is very much on small scale roof mounted projects very much like the one just launched in Bournemouth. The scheme will see a number of council homes and schools across the seaside town fitted with solar voltaic panels, allowing them to benefit from savings on electricity bills as well as generate revenue from the tariff.
The feed-in tariff works by offering guaranteed, premium rates for units of electricity both utilised and fed back into the grid by small scale generators of renewable energy. The emphasis for the feed-in tariff is now well and truly on roof mounted solar projects where home owners are able to benefit from reduced utility bills and of course, in some cases a guaranteed revenue over the lifetime of the project. When the feed-in tariff was launched in April last year, the scheme being rolled out in Bournemouth is exactly what the DECC had envisaged as a way of reducing carbon emissions on a local level.
The Bournemouth solar project is being implemented in partnership between the local council and Mouchel and will create a number of jobs in the installation of the solar pv systems. Bournemouth councillor Peter Charon announced that,
“This is a fantastic scheme for the borough and clearly demonstrates our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint in Bournemouth. We are one of the first authorities in the South to install solar panels on our housing and other council buildings. I am delighted that Kingsleigh Primary School and Heathlands Primary School have elected to join the pilot scheme. Following on from the pilot we will be looking to roll it out to include all council housing, care homes and schools. The overall investment could potentially be £22million with £12million of savings by way of cheaper electricity bills and £15million by way of an income from the Government’s feed-in tariff.”