A novel solution for community veg growing?

Eco-Barge-by-Salt-Water-6-e1459957797894-1020x610If there’s no land available, then what about a floating greenhouse on the canal?


About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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2 Responses to A novel solution for community veg growing?

  1. Bill says:

    Hi Alison,

    Have you come across any community solar schemes? Essentially where a collection of households install a number of solar panels but use one inverter thus spreading the cost of the most expensive item.

    Also there has been a number of articles on floating solar farms. However, dont think National Parks would like on on Talybont reservoir!




    • Alison Kidd says:

      Reply from Peter Williams.
      There are solar farms that are community owned, but I can’t find any examples of several homes sharing a common inverter. I agree that two homes sharing a common grid inverter shouldn’t cost twice as much to install, but in practice it might because of the additional administration and Western Power hoops you’d need to combat. Most mains connectors can take up to 3.8kW of electricity moving in the “wrong” direction, so you do not generally need permission to install a grid-tied 4Kw PV system. The inverters are configured to shut down if the local voltage rises to a point that demonstrates that more power is being generated their side of their local mains transformer. In this way, Western Power ensures that they do not export excess power to the grid which they may not be able to control.

      An added complication would be the splitting of the Feed-In-Tariff and the export credit. These could, of course, accrue to just one of the residences and then shared out on the basis of a contract between the different home-owners, but the simplest way to do this would also mean that the home that was actually connected to the grid would also be the main (only) beneficiary of the reduced consumption of electricity from the grid.

      The export tariff tends to be a fraction of the average wholesale price of electricity and up until the last round of reductions in feed-in-tariff (FiT) would have been dwarfed by the FiT. Now that the FiT is so much smaller the export tariff is closer to comparable, and it becomes even more in the consumer’s interest to consume as much of the electricity they generate as they can. This would, I imagine, be much more difficult to arrange with a shared inverter scheme.

      We too thought about a solar farm on Talybont Reservoir but couldn’t imagine any way it would get through BBNP planning! We even spotted some rather fine ones designed to look like lily pads.


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