Together Housing Association Ltd., which is part of Together Housing Group, a nonprofit organization in the United Kingdom, is launching a £2 million ($2.4 million) program to test solar-plus-storage solutions in social housing developments.
The THA Solar PV with Battery Storage Pilot Programme operates under the U.K. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and is funded by Together Housing and the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It was established after the U.K. government slashed feed-in tariff rates, in order to find new commercial models for long-term PV deployment across Together Housing’s 36,000 properties in northern England.
Together Housing has identified the combination of battery storage and rooftop PV as a key solution for this new concept, as it allows the sale of power on site, or via peer-to-peer networks, and some other form of export, as well as interaction with other energy markets for demand-side response.
Avonside Roofing won the tender for the pilot project, which will be used to assess investment levels and operational costs. It will also test solar-plus-storage systems within a specific community by collecting information on storage and revenue generation, as well as discharge and grid export data.
Solar panels and battery storage will be deployed in 250 homes to enable savings of up to £300 a year for each household, while also reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%, Together Housing claims.
Every home that participates in the project will be equipped with devices to remotely control all of the installation data, which will be used to evaluate the project's feasibility. The long-term aim will be to expand adoption throughout the group’s properties in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The project was launched in March of this year and will run until March 2021. It also aims to address energy poverty in the U.K.
“The tenants taking part in the pilot will benefit from free electricity,” said the organization’s managing director, Patrick Berry. “After the pilot, we hope to be able to roll out the scheme at a larger scale by working with energy suppliers and the National Grid.”
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