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BI PV Urban Scale Project Details
Name projectKirklees Council Solar PV Projects
CountryUnited Kingdom
Year2005-00-00 (Start operation date)
PV applicationInclined roof - mounted,
Inclined roof - integrated
PV power total kWp
LocationKirklees, Yorkshire
Latitude/Longitude53°38'32.53"N 1°47'24.6"W
© Donna Munro

Project summary
The European project SunCities started in 2000 and aimed to install 3.05MW of solar electricity on 2,000 homes in Germany, the Netherlands and Kirklees in the UK. In Kirklees this includes a total of 350 kWp osolar PV systems and 63 solar thermal systems. Around 518 households have been involved across Kirklees, including elderly tenants and families with young children. They benefit from free solar electricity and can expect to save up to £50 a year on their electricity bill. The energy performance of the homes has been improved; EcoHomes ratings of very good and excellent have been awarded by the BRE for the new build homes. Solar panels have been installed on to 268 council owned homes, two 40-bed residential care homes, four 8-bed care homes and luxury apartments at Titanic Mill. Through SunCities, Kirklees has installed 4.9% of the total solar electricity installed in the UK, making SunCities the largest domestic solar project in the UK. SunCities has attracted funding of up to £1.8 million to Kirklees and attracted nationwide attention through winning, in 2006, an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy, a British Renewable Energy Association Award and Green Apple Award.

Urban scale PV aspects
The Kirklees PV project was made reality by the effort and enthusiasm of the Kirklees Council Environment Unit. Success in the early stages of the project led to continuing political support, strengthening of policies and further successful projects. Funding was received from the Renewable Energy Fund, grants from the EC and the DTI Major PV Demonstration Programme, and contributions from housing associations and developers. Housing associations have set up maintenance contracts with installers or Kirklees Council Building Services. There were problems with obtaining Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for the export of electricity. As a result Kirklees Council lobbied for better payment for export of electricity and access for small generators, and the legislation has recently been simplified.

Special PV project info
PV architecture and building integrationA contrasting retrofit installation was included in the refurbishment of Titanic Mill, an old textile mill which has been converted to luxury flats, a hotel and spa. The 50 kWp PV array contributes towards the aim of making the whole development carbon-neutral. As a listed building, the PV array had to be mounted in the roof valley to limit visual intrusion. Other installations were made on new buildings, including a housing association development of 31 new-build homes and 48 flats, all with high levels of efficiency and achieving Ecohomes 'very good' and 'excellent' standards. The homes have 1 kWp of PV and a 3 m2 solar hot-water heater integrated into the roof, which gives a neater appearance than a bolt-on unit. Four new council-run care homes and two sheltered accommodation houses have included roof-integrated PV systems, with a total capacity of 40 kWp.
Urban planning issuesThe Kirklees PV project started after a decision in 2000 to set up the Kirklees Council Renewable Energy Capital Fund. Success in the early stages of the project led to continuing political support, strengthening of policies and further successful projects. The 2025 Kirklees Environment Vision has recently been adopted, which includes a number of ambitious targets for renewable energy including increasing the district's energy consumption coming from renewables to 10% by 2010.
Economical and financial issuesThe overall cost of the programme was about £2 million, or about £6,700 per kWp installed. Costs were brought down during the lifetime of the project, in particular by local organisations taking over project management and procurement, so latterly the cost of the bolt-on systems was only about £3,400 per kWp. 16% of the project funding came from the EU as part of its SunCities programme, 53% from the Department of Trade and Industry's Major PV Programme, and the remainder from local sources including the housing associations, Lowry Renaissance and the Kirklees Council Renewable Energy Capital Fund. Social housing tenants have not had to pay for their systems.
PV ownershipThe PV systems have been installed on a number of social housing properties, care homes and public buildings, which are part of Kirklees Council's building portfolio. Some private house owners have chosen to install PV systems, which have generally been funded through grants and their own finances.
Tariffs and metering
Renewble Obligation Certficates (ROCs) provide a premium for electricity generated from renewables, of about 4.5p/kWh. However there is a considerable amount of paperwork and effort to obtain and sell ROCs. Kirklees Council explored the possibility of grouping people together in the community to receive payment for ROCs, although this has not yet proved to be possible. Kirklees Council have lobbied for better payment and easier access to ROCs. There have since been some changes to the legislation to simplify the projects, although it is still rather onerous for householders, most of which have not obtained agreeements to sell excess electricity.
Info on grid issuesTo maximise the benefits obtained from the electricity generated by the PV systems, a recommendation from the Kirklees project is to ensure the connection of the system to the local electricity grid is considered at an early stage in the design and is discussed with the electricity distribution network operator to ensure there is no significant time delay to the project.
Other infoThe success of the Kirklees PV project is largely due to the enthusiasm and commitment of the Kirklees Council Environment Unit. The links with other organisations and the willingness to learn from others have been key contributors to the success. Partners include Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd who advised on the project, Yorkshire Housing Group, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Kirklees Community Association, and Lowry Renaissance.
Remarks and recommended readingPV power per dwelling is calculated as the average for each household.

Other project data
Type of projectDemonstration Project
Other relevant aspectsSolar thermal
Start of PV project
Start operation PV system2005-00-00
Main project leading companyKirklees Metropolitan Council
Main project contact person
Contact emailenvironment.unit@kirklees.gov.uk
Contact address23 Estate Buildings, Railway Street, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD1 1JY
Includes PV database projects

Urban district data
Kind of urban areaResidential - village
Main building typesHouses - attached houses,
Houses - single house
New/Retrofit/AddedRetrofit building integration
Main PV area address

PV systems
PV applicationInclined roof - mounted,
Inclined roof - integrated
PV power total urban project350 kWp
Number of dwellings/units390
PV power per dwellings/units0.9 kWp
Main PV system typesGrid-connected - demand side
Main PV module typesFramed - regular module,
Laminates - regular laminate
Main PV cell typesCrystalline silicon - unknown other or mixed
PV module brand and typeAstropower, NAPS, BP Solar
PV inverter brand and typeFronius

PV cost and energy production
Total PV system investment2700000 Euro
Average PV modules only costs
Total PV energy yield260000 kWh Calculated
PV energy user owner

Projects websitewww.kirklees.gov.uk/community/environment/renewable/renewable-projects.shtml
Other websites www.ashdenawards.org/winners/mbc
Webpage Educational Tool

1. KirkleesCouncilSolarPVProjects1.pdf (language: English)
2. KirkleesCouncilSolarPVProjects2.pdf (language: English)
3. KirkleesSolarVillageTechnicalReport.pdf (language: English)

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