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Trefullock Moor is the new beacon for UK solar energy

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Trefullock solarAt Trefullock Moor in Cornwall, one of the UK’s first large-scale solar farm has recently been completed by German solar energy specialists hep capital.

Now 21,272 solar panels stand on the 19 hectare site near Summercourt. This vast energy plant have a capacity of 5MW and is expected to generate 5 million KWh per year, which is enough to power around 3,000 homes.  The site, around 10K South East of Newquay, has similar radiation levels to Southern Germany.

Work was begun in May 2011 and was carried out by main contractors Bosch Solar Energy AG.Bosch are now also managing the plant for SmartestEnergy, which is the UK’s leading purchaser of independently generated electricity and a provider of Power Purchase Agreements. The photo-voltaic panels are Bosch’s c-Si M 60 monocrystalline model and the plant is fitted with Bosch alarm systems.

When work began in May the Director of hep capital, Thorsten Eitle, stated that the company were very happy to have secured such an illustrious partner to deliver the project.Trefullock solar

Peter Schneidewind, Sales Director at Bosch Solar Energy AG, expressed Bosch’s pleasure at being chosen for the Trefullock development: “We are delighted that we have had this opportunity to demonstrate what we can do,” he said, “particularly in the UK solar market which is still relatively young. Photovoltaics are becoming increasingly important here. We’ll be seeing more and more solar systems in the future, particularly on the roofs of UK houses.”

The plant is already producing energy, having been connected on the final Friday of July, in time to qualify for the Government’s reduced Feed-in Tariff, which was introduced for all large-scale solar plants commissioned and approved prior to August 2011.

Christian Hamann, Director of the BTrefullock solaroard at hep capital, told Premier Construction that the installation of the photo-voltaic panels had generally been a straightforward process. “We have a lot of experience in this,” he said, “so from a technical perspective it was not that hard.” hep capital have built many large-scale solar farms in mainland Europe and were able to bring their expertise to England to get the job done quickly and to a high standard.

It was also a reasonable simple site to build on, as Mr Hamann explained: “The ground was almost ready for us to begin installation,” he told us, “although one part of the site is a flood-risk, so we did have to build a trenage.” This will provide drainage to protect the site against the threat of flooding.

Mr Hamann explained that actually the most challenging part of the process had been liasing with the British authorities to gain planning permission in time to secure the reduced Feed in Tariff.

Murrell Ashworth, South West specialists in corporate and renewable energy law, consulted with hep capital in the planning stages of the project.

Foundations were responsible for the erection of the farms solar panel tables.

Ecofirst provided a complete design and build package for the electrical works, starting with the production of a fully engineered system design, right through from the panels to the 11,000 volt grid connection.Trefullock solar

“The project went amazingly well – considering the very short time which we had to plan and execute it. In addition the solar farm is currently performing even better than we predicted” said Mr Aidan Morris of Ecofirst.

The medium-sized farm is made up of 3,320 x LDK 230 W solar panels on 166 tables, each containing 26 panels, with the tables tilting the panels to face the sun. The farm is split into two halves – an eastern array and a western array, divided by a central avenue.

Initially the site contained a crop of oilseed rape ready for harvesting. Once this was done and the site cleared, than a large amount of cross site cabling was buried, feeding into a central plant room which was also constructed.

The plant room contains two rooms – one for all the control equipment needed (such as control panels, meters and CCTV equipment) required to run the solar farm, and the other containing two KACO New Energy XP350-TL central inverters, which convert the DC electricity generated by the panels into AC electricity used by the grid.  The site also has its own dedicated transformer, located just outside the central building in a fenced off compound on the same plinth. The inverters output at 290 volts, which is taken up to 11,000 volts by the transformer.

Works were underway on site by June 2011 and the whole system was completed and generating by mid July 2011.

“Over 149 years lifeboats have launched on 581 emergency call outs from various stations around The Lizard, and saved 1,140 lives. We cover England’s most southerly point and one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. More than 400 ships a day move up and down the channel and past Lizard Point and it’s important that we maintain key lifeboat stations along this stretch of coastline.”

Completion is expected in October 2011, followed by a one month fit out being undertaken by the RNLI.

Lizard Point has been a navigation marker for seafarers since prehistoric times and is mentioned as early as 250 BC. Countless ships and lives have been lost in its treacherous waters; but in the last 150 years, many have also been saved by successive Lizard lifeboats.

There have been RNLI lifeboats at The Lizard since 1859. From 1867 until 1963 there was also a lifeboat at Cadgwith, a couple of miles east along the coast.

The first lifeboat station was at the most southerly point, Polpeor, and in 1885 another station was built at nearby Church Cove, a mile or so to the east. That station closed in 1899 but the Polpeor station continued right through until 1961. Meanwhile a Cadgwith station was opened in 1867 and remained in action until 1963.

When the current boathouse at Kilcobben opened in 1961, the station became known as The Lizard Cadgwith Lifeboat Station. The name was officially changed in 1987 to its present The Lizard Lifeboat Station.

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