Installing Solar at Top of the Woods - Work Diary Dec 2016
"Solar panels generated more electricity than coal in the past six months in a historic year for getting energy from the sun in the UK, according to a new analysis....."
The Independent October 2016
In April 2017, Jon and I will have been at Penrallt for 3 years.
Ever since we moved here, we have been itching to put in place our plans around renewable energy. However, understandably our focus over the first few years has had to be building up the business at Top of the Woods. We have spent these initial years investing in some of the critical but less glamorous infrastructure you need as a camping/glamping business, such as commercial septic tanks, upgrading water supplies and improving the road/track. I know, not very sexy!
However, this month, the time has come for us to get our sustainable energy generating plans underway, in the form of ground mounted solar panels - whoop whoop!! (I will share our journey another time on how and why we decided to select solar as the options for us at Top of the Woods)
That means Top of the Woods will start to generate its own electricity in 2017, a pretty big milestone for us and the history of Penrallt. Now I don't expect will be off grid 100%, only time will tell by how much that actually is, rather than the fancy graphs the solar salesmen will try and impress you with.
What I do know, is we will be generating our own clean electricity, not using fossil fuels and we will definitely become less dependent on the grid supply. So I am hoping to see a lot more of Mister or Ms Sunshine in the years to come!
In the meantime, check out Jon's hard work and www.Pembsolar.com for making this happen !!
1. Selecting the best south facing field that has the longest sun cover during the day. The first step is to prepare a shallow trench for the ground mounted solar panels.
2. Jon "in action" with his digger and dumper creating the shallow trench.
3. As you can see Jon is a very happy man as he stands in-between his two favourite things a digger and dumper. There was you thinking that his favourite things was me, Dylan and Cookie his princess cat!!
4. Laying down the weed suppressant membrane
5. This obviously stops the weeds or grass growing through and shading the solar panels
6. A Master digger at work, look at those straight lines of that trench, yes you can tell Jon is OCD :-) This is where the cable will be buried.
7. Covering the weed membrane with single wash pebbles. This provides the foundation for the solar panels
8. Jon flattening the foundations, before Pembsolar start the solar installation.
9. Me pretending I am doing all the work!!! Well I am the site foreman (just don't tell Jon!) and boss of the photography department
10. The lovely and professional pembsolar.com guys are on site to do the green business
11. Laying out the "Renusol consoles" or in other words, the plastic tray thingumabobs that the solar panels will eventual sit in.
12. A grey rainy day today as the panels start getting laid in...
13. Hmmmm less rain please more sunshine
14. More sunshine today, thank goodness, as the work continues to fit the 20 ground mounted solar panels
15. That is much better, the sun is out!
16. All in place now. I wonder what the Preseli hills would make of this sun based magic !
Solar providers and installers - www.pembsolar.com