Solar Power Portal reader Neil Dixon got in touch last week as he noticed that there seemed to be a lot of content regarding PV installations in the South of England, and whilst he accepts that the North East is not generally regarded as tropical, it does have great solar potential. In fact, Mr. Dixon’s own property features a 3.29kWp system, installed by the Mark Group. 

Neil’s bungalow, which is located in Woodham, County Durham, faces south, south west. He moved into the area last summer and having ensured that the insulation is the best that can be achieved, started to look into PV generation.  Initially, Mr. Dixon checked out the ‘rent your roof’ schemes, yet the responses to his enquiries (where received at all) were not promising. This was most likely due to the less desirable location of the property.

After realising that that rent a roof companies would not be the way forward, Mr. Dixon contacted, among others, ‘The Green Project’ (part of Enact Energy of Cornwall) in August 2010 for a quotation and found them to be very helpful. The price was very competitive and, after a surveyor had paid a visit, Mr. Dixon agreed to install a 14 panel 3.29kWp system (using the maximum available roof space) with a Sunny Boy SB3000 inverter and Sharp 235 panels.

There was some delay in installation due to contractor problems, but the system was installed in January 2011.  Installation was by The Mark Group, whom he now highly recommends, and took only 2.5 days with minimal disruption.

“Undertaking this kind of project involves a large capital investment, but with ever increasing fuel costs I believe it will yield a minimum return on my outlay of 7 or 8% pa.. I am currently awaiting my first FIT payment cheque!” said Mr. Dixon.