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Solar Renewable Heat Incentive in England

The SolarBeam Concentrator is a solar hot water system that provides up to 12kWh of solar hot water. Since the system tracks the sun, it is more efficient
than flat panels. The SolarBeam can be used in any application that requires solar hot water or solar heat.

Currently the UK government is paying commercial applications for solar heat. You can make a lot of money using SolarBeam for providing solar heat
because it produces 12kWh from one system. You would need at least 15 flat panels to provide the same amount of solar heat.

The SolarBeam is a powerful solar water system that can produce more solar heat per m2 than flat panels or evacuated tubes. For example, if you had to heat 10,000 gallons of hot water to 150 F in 6 hours, 36 SolarBeams are required, compared to 468 flat panels (typically 1 SolarBeam to 15 flat panels: based on type of flat panel andapplication type)

Since the SolarBeam can be installed on the ground or the roof. There is greater flexibility than flat panels or evacuated tubes that have to be
installed on the roof. Also, rarely is there space to install 468 flat panels on the roof or on the ground (if the space is available)

When it comes to spacing of the SolarBeams, generally you can allow 20 feet apart for installation. This is dependant on your location and the layout for
the SolarBeams.

Solar hot water scheme in England

In November 2011, Phase 1 (commercial & industrial) of the Renewable Heat Incentive started. Phase II for domestic homes will start in
July 2012 but systems installed now will be able to apply for the RHI tariff inJuly.

RHI is designed for hospitals, nursing homes, schools, leisure centres, hotels, factory’s or any other such building which currently
uses electricity, oil, gas or other fuel to produce heat or cooling requirements.

It is just like the FIT (Feed In Tariff) except for Heat instead of Electricity.

FAQ’s

Q: What is the RHI
(Renewable Heat Incentive) ?

The Solar RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) is a Government scheme that provides a payment from the government for every kWhr of hot waterproduced by a commercial solar system. It is set at 8.5p /kWhr for commercial. For example, if you put a solar hot water system on your hotel, then the ownerof the equipment will get paid 8.5p for each eligible kWhr it produces.

Q: What size is commercial ?

Commercial is over 45 kWth (64 sqm) and under 200 kWth (285 sqm) but in Phase II, (July 2012), the government have stated they wish to
expand the upper limit of 285 sqm. If you put on 400 sqm, then you will get paid for 285 sqm until it is raised later.

 

Q: Can I do this on my house ?

No, this phase is commercial, there is a domestic phase starting in July 2012 but if you put in a solar hot water system on your house
today, you will be eligible for the tariff then, i.e. you don’t have to wait…

 

Q: How will the kWhrs be measured ?

They will be measured by heat metering.

 

Q: Does this mean the government will pay more to more powerful systems ?

Yes. The more powerful the system performance, the higher the amount of heat metered, the more kWhrs produced, the more you get paid.

 

Q: Do the equipment and the installers have to MCS accredited?

No, the MCS (microgeneration scheme) is a consumer protection scheme designed to put a quality control layer on smaller installations (less than 64 sqm) which would typically be carried out by domestic type installers. Commercial systems are far more complex and installed by large professional mechanical and electrical contractors who work directly
with the manufacturers.

 

Q: Is there a standard commercial solar system ?

No, all are case by case and subject to engineering visits. A design needs to be created similar to house plans and this design is used by the contractor to install the system.

 

Q: Can I get a bank loan and claim the payments from government myself ?

Yes, the payments go to whoever is the owner of the equipment.

 

Q: What type of buildings can you put these systems on ?

Any commercial building that uses hot water, so hotels, hospitals, leisure centre’s, laundry’s, factory’s, clinics, food halls, military buildings, schools, golf and football clubs, fire stations.

 

Q: I have a group of 100 hotels under my control, can I do them all ?

Yes, either with your finance or an investor led financing model.

 

Q: What groups are being targeted ?

The government are targeting the more cost effective and bigger emitting sectors first. The industrial, business and public sectors which contributes 38% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

 

Q: Who will administer the scheme ?

OFGEM will administer the scheme.

 

Q: What is the payback using SolarBeam?

A payback of 6 years is possible on RHI using on the SolarBean Concentrator