Oakapple Renewable Energy Limited (OAREL) has formed five partnerships with PV installers throughout the UK after announcing its £100 million investment programme.

The partnerships, which include Hudson Solar in Leeds and NSA in Leicester, will see OAREL provide the finance to enable the installers to fit free solar panels for building owners who are unable to put up the investment cost.

OAREL’s scheme will work under the rent-a-roof format, where the building owner receives the solar PV system for free, while OAREL takes the feed-in tariff payments. OAREL will pay the installers for fitting and supplying the systems, as well as maintaining and insuring the system for 25 years.

At the end of the contract the customers – both residential and commercial – will continue to benefit from the free electricity generated by the panels.

Philip Taylor, Managing Director of OAREL said, “Through the alliance with OAREL installers now have the opportunity to secure an installation with those who people who want to benefit from the free electricity generated by the solar panels, but who cannot afford to have them fitted.

“The benefit to OAREL is that we will be able to benefit from additional sales teams throughout the UK at no additional cost to the company.

“The partnerships will give both parties the opportunity to benefit from the demand for small-scale solar installations which are predicted to grow from 20,000 in 2011 to 680,000 in 2020.”