Gabriel Wondrausch, the chief of UK Solar Installer of the Year SunGift Solar, has reacted positively to today’s news that the red tape is being removed from large rooftop schemes, with all systems up to 1 MW being classed as ‘permitted development’.
“This is excellent news for businesses and farmers in the south west,” he said.
Commercial rooftops are by far the best place to put solar panels
“Commercial rooftops are by far the best place to put solar panels as they help businesses to considerably reduce their overheads, lower their carbon emissions, and lessen their reliance on the big energy companies. In fact, many use 100% of the energy they generate to power their businesses during the day. We’ve installed a large number of solar systems on businesses’ roofs, and although we’ve never had a planning application refused for one, many of those who would have liked bigger systems actually stopped at 50 kW because they felt the bureaucracy was too much of a hassle.”
Gabriel’s comments follow today’s announcement that Eric Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local government, has increased the permitted development threshold for rooftop solar panels installed on commercial property from 50 kW to 1MW. Using typical 250 W panels this increases the number of panels that a business can have installed without planning permission from 200 to 4,000.
‘Move open the doors for more energy be installed where it is best suited’
“This move will open the doors for more energy be installed where it is best suited and for businesses to take control of their own energy needs without the annoyance of the additional red tape,” added Gabriel.
“Large system bring with them significant economies of scale too, so – thanks to the still generous Feed-in Tariff rates – many businesses will continue generate up to a 20% return on their initial investment in solar.”
SunGift Solar has completed a large number of solar installs on the roofs companies that use 100% of the energy they generate to power their daily activities. These include a 250 kW array on the Met Office’s Energy Centre, a 200 kW array for Gregory distribution, 170 kW for UK Farm Shop of the Year Darts Farm, and 200 kW on the roof of Numatic (manufacturer of Henry vacuum cleaners).