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Accomodating change

Homeless citizens in Plymouth are the latest to benefit from renewable energy following the city’s Battery Street Hostel’s decision to embrace green technology.

CCTV, security and panic alarms, cat 6 cabling, heat pumps, underfloor heating and local cooling units were all fitted along with Grant solar thermal and PV systems as part of a council supported £3.5m investment scheme designed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.

The renewable systems comprised 16 Grant Sahara collectors in a bronze finish combined with two 750ltr Grant DuoWave cylinders for water heating which were installed by Plymouth-based contractor Electrical Contracting Services (ECS).  The solar thermal collectors have a performance efficiency of 81 per cent which, together with their robustness, made Plymouth City Council opt for Grant solar thermal systems.   

Additionally, ECS fitted 22 Grant solar PV 180W monocrystaline modules totaling a 3.96kW system for electricity generation, which can be used to run any appliance in the building that is powered by the mains. Installed facing due south, this system can generate around 3300kW of electricity every year.

As both the products and installer are MCS approved, the hostel is able to claim under the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme for power generation over the next 25 years, and take advantage of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs for solar thermal.  These incentives will result in a reduction of capital payback time for the equipment, whilst guaranteeing a future income to help home some of those destitute within the Plymouth area.

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