Renewable energy consultancy Dulas is aiming to cater for the growing number of public entities looking at solar by launching a new survey service.

Dulas’ Remote Renewable Energy Survey Service (RRESS) assesses a site’s suitability for renewable energy projects, essentially providing public sector entities with what’s described as a ‘pre-feasibility report’ that analyses the potential for new developments.

The service uses light detection and ranging (LiDAR) surveys and geographic information system (GIS) mapping, with all work conducted remotely. This, Dulas said, stands to save public sector organisations time and costs usually incurred via multiple site visits.

The service was most recently taken up by the University of Chester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering. Dulas’ RRESS assessed a 66-acre area and selected a number of suitable roof spaces and car parking sites which could be a good fit for solar installations, accounting for the orientation and slope of roofing and forecasted irradiance levels.

As a result of the survey, the University of Chester received a pre-feasibility report which stated that the installs could supply 20% of the site’s entire energy demand, and at commercially-attractive rates of return.

Dulas has pointed towards the Solar Trade Association’s recent ‘Leading Lights’ report, which examined how local authorities are now leading the way in terms of solar deployment and are ideally placed to continue that trend.

Ruth Chapman, head of consultancy at Dulas, added: “By employing cutting-edge technologies such as LiDAR and GIS, and working in partnership with local authorities to understand their ambitions and objectives, we offer a sophisticated, reliable and cost-efficient means of assessing the potential for all forms of renewable energy – including solar – that is locked up in local authority land and infrastructure.”