Green Street Student Accomodation


The Brief

Jon Gauld is a prolific local landlord with a portfolio of properties in the Medway area. Keen on the innovations and efficiencies that renewable technology can offer, Mr Gauld has been pursuing the installation of a variety of technology within his properties. Offering high quality accommodation to the local student population the newest property to benefit from this is in Green Street, Gillingham. This property is also benefitting from the installation of a biomass boiler and a bore hole. Having already seen, first hand, the advantages of solar PV on other properties that he owns, Mr Gauld was keen to add them to the building in Green Street, an ex Local Authority Adult Education Centre. The trinity of these technologies brings a range of long term economies as well as delivering the control of the utility costs back to Mr Gauld and ensuring that he gains the highest return on investment over the coming years.

The Challenge

Within a busy town centre, the project required careful consideration before planning permission could be sought and successfully obtained for the installation of the solar PV. Work began on the architectural drawings in January 2013. JPS were instrumental in working alongside Mr Gauld to create a cohesive layout and the necessary drawings to ensure the relevant planning and permissions would be granted. Once submitted Medway Planning Department were happy and approved permission for the installation to start. Through an in-depth survey carried out by JPS it was decided that the existing roof was not strong enough to hold the mountings and panels. JPS worked closely with the roofing contractor and project manager to ensure that the most cost effective solution was found.


Working Together

Work took a total of 14 days - including repairing the roof areas where necessary, installing the mountings, carrying out the required electrical work and mounting the panels. Solarworld panels manufactured in Germany were fitted with Enphase Micro Inverters. A key feature of the proposal by JPS to Mr Gauld, the inverters ensure that the property gains the best return on investment on the capital outlay.

Micro inverters offer better efficiencies than string inverter counterparts by offering a greater energy yield - even in low light conditions. Coupled with industry leading reliability and a 20 year, whole life warranty, the fitted units offer 49kWh of power. Tests have shown that when compared to the standard string inverters the micro inverters will benefit from up to a 10% increase in energy harvest. As the property in Green Street was already undergoing extensive renovation work the installation did not impact on Mr Gaulds' business in any way.

The Rewards

Initially, the electricity costs of the property will be reduced substantially. Coupled with this will be a quarterly payment by Mr Gauld's FIT provider for the electrical supply. The in-roof PV installation that was needed due to the roofing issue is slightly more expensive than the traditional PV mountings so the pay back length of time is slightly longer. However, even with these higher costs taken into account, the solar panels will pay for themselves within 8 years, after which any income becomes business profit for Mr Gauld.

The Verdict

Mr Gault commented:

"I have been keen to utilise the very best in renewable technology across my portfolio for some time. The inclusion of the micro inverters has meant that, even with the unpredictable British weather, I am assured the highest yield possible. Combine this with the great work JPS did when planning the installation and I'm very impressed with the work they have carried out. Completely professional, with my business needs at the heart of all their actions, I would highly recommend others to look at JPS for a smooth planning and installation process with great, guaranteed financial rewards."