The rise of energy storage, monitoring, smart grids and smart meters coupled with declining tariffs has pushed the need for installers to look at how solar can play a role in a whole house solution.

Entries in this category exhibited exceptional system designs that significantly reduced customers’ energy bills as well as emissions. 

Commenting on the shortlisted entries, Nick Boyle CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy said: “The renewable energy industry as a whole is as much about sustainable economic growth as it is about addressing climate change. Innovation is key in taking the industry forward. We have to be creative and push the boundaries in order to see results. In the UK we have witnessed significant leaps towards the integration of renewables into every- day life. We commend the award finalists for their remarkable work, and anticipate this is only the beginning of what promises to be a very exciting time for the UK’s green economy.”

Armstrong Point, Kingspan Environmental/Eco Environments

Armstrong Point, Britain's first ever zero energy-cost business park, saves 207,230kWh in energy each year, thanks to a sustainable energy system that includes solar thermal, wind turbine, air source heat pumps, electrical vehicle charging and rainwater harvesting alongside PV panels.

Kingspan Environmental’s Thermomax range of solar thermal vacuum tube collectors provide up to 70% of a property's annual hot water needs at the business park and are fitted with a unique temperature limitation device. The project was supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the end result has the environmental credentials to be justifiably called a green business park.

British Gas Business Building, British Gas Solar

The offices of British Gas Business in Oxford are designed and built to exacting energy targets of BREEAM Excellent and EPC A ratings, in part thanks to a 104kWp roof mounted installation.

Developers Centrica Estates appointed main contractor Kier to carry out the work, with solar arrays installed onto stub columns that were pre-installed as the roof was constructed. The rooftop array features 416 solar modules and works alongside a 36MWh solar thermal system, wood pellet-fired biomass boiler, LED integrated lighting and building energy management system (BEMS).

Isle of Eigg Electrification Project, Wind & Sun Ltd

The Isle of Eigg, 16km off the Western Coast of Scotland, has been made almost independent from mainland oil imports and fossil fuels thanks to a hybrid system using multiple renewable energy sources combined with a diesel back-up generator. This includes Wind & Sun's 50kWp PV arrays, added in phases in 2007, 2011 and in July of this year.

This system has run for over five years, bringing 24-hour electricity to all of the island’s 46 households, 21 businesses and six community facilities for the first time. The electrification project can be considered a success in combining three renewable energy technologies as well as reducing the island's diesel consumption from 51,000 litres to 7,800 litres a year.

RSPB Frampton Marsh, Prescient Power

The RSPB recently called for 'a renewables revolution in harmony with nature'. In pursuit of this ideal, the organisation called upon Prescient Power to install a 10kW solar panel installation on the roof of the Frampton Marsh visitor centre in Lincolnshire.

Previously powered by noisy and polluting diesel, the system now powering the site receives over a thousand pounds per year in feed-in tariffs despite being off-grid. Prescient Power faced up to the challenge of balancing expected daily and annual generation profiles against expected usage profiles, battery charging cycles and feed-in tariffs.

Lightsource Renewable Energy, sponsors of the Best integration of solar generation as part of a total energy solution award category will be exhibiting at a stand P13 at Solar Energy UK