Winners 2016

R&D Innovation

Oxford University

Smart Solar Technology Innovation

Enphase Home Energy Solution

Smart Storage Innovation

sonnenBatterie

Smart Solar Solution

Sheffield Solar for PV_Live

Energy Storage Solution

RESolve from RES

Large Ground Mount Installation

PS Renewables Eveley Solar Farm

EPC Excellence

Lightsource

Smart Solar Commercial Roof-top Installation

EvoEnergy

R&D Innovation

Oxford University


Judges comment:
Perovskite technology holds the promise of low-cost manufacturing and steadily improving energy yields, but development has been challenging. Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Clarendon Laboratory (Department of Physics) are commended for their seminal work in unravelling the relationships between perovskite crystal formation and the makeup of its precursor chemistry. They discovered that a change in the equilibrium between methyl ammonium (MAH+) and methyl amine (MA) controls solubility, and therefore the onset of crystallization. This understanding paves the way for the use of non-toxic solvents to create perovskite crystals with improved reproducibility, homogeneity, and eventually, manufacturability.

Smart Solar Technology Innovation

Enphase Home Energy Solution


Judges comment:
Enphase and its versatile Home Energy Solution offers residential and commercial users a simplified path to maximizing the benefits of renewable energy while empowering its customers with increased utility and savings. Enphase combines their micro inverter tech, networked collection hubs, and user-installable AC batteries to support energy needs during non-generating hours.

Smart Storage Innovation

sonnenBatterie


Judges comment:
sonnenBatterie has worked to extend the benefits of renewable energy with their home (Eco) and business (sonnenBatterie Pro) systems that deliver power and energy independence for residential and commercial customers. Their technology employs the latest lithium-iron phosphate chemistry that is the most stable and safe now available.

Smart Solar Solution

Sheffield Solar for PV_Live


Sheffield Solar, based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was awarded the Smart Solar Solution for pioneering work in understanding and improving the efficiency of the UK’s solar industry.

The group, part of the University’s Energy 2050 institute and Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, has been active since 2010 and operates the UK’s largest database of electricity generation data from rooftop solar panels. It promotes the sharing of knowledge and data between industry, society and academia.

Sheffield Solar has been collecting data and analysing the performance of operational Photovoltaic (PV) systems around the UK for the past six years.

In a recent project, the group have been working with National Grid to help the transmission system operator understand how much power the UK’s increasing number of solar panels are producing and to improve the efficiency of its electricity network.

The ‘PV_Live’ project runs for two years and aims to reduce uncertainty in half hourly estimates of PV generation by, on average, 50 MW during daylight hours.

The project could mean savings for the National Grid of between £1 million and £10 million per year through offsetting the need to increase reserve holdings of the short-term response electricity used to balance the grid. This could be passed on to electricity bill payers.

Another benefit could be a reduction in the environmental impact of grid balancing operations, estimated at several thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The ‘PV_Live’ project has been so successful that after eight months, the output from the tool went live in the National Grid control room and is now the main grid balancing tool for forecasting PV generation.

Aldous Everard, Business Development Manager at Sheffield Solar, said: “I am delighted that Sheffield Solar has been recognised through the Smart Solar Solution award from Solar UK. Our project with National Grid has greatly improved real-time estimates of PV-generated solar power and our data continues to be used by experts and energy journalists across the UK.”

Judges comment:
Accurately determining solars’ contribution to the UK’s daily electricity needs has long been sought-after by the National Grid to enable smooth load balancing and reduced reliance on expensive short term operating reserve (STOR) systems.

Energy Storage Solution

RESolve from RES


Judges comment:
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has brought its years of experience designing and creating grid-scale renewable energy generation, storage and power management systems to maximize revenues. The multiple, highly customizable operating modes within the RESolve program allows owners to access multiple revenue streams from a single energy storage system. RESolve employs industry standard protocols to provide two-way communications to utility-level SCADA systems, and provides performance analysis capabilities via industry standard database links. With systems installed across the UK, Canada and the US, RES sets a high standard for commercial energy management and control.

Large Ground Mount Installation

PS Renewables Eveley Solar Farm


Judges comment:
At 49 megawatts (MW), Eveley is one of the largest privately-owned solar farms in the UK. PS Renewables developed and built the Eveley project under tight time scales; the project was connected to the grid in March 2016 and it is now fully accredited. It is expected to generate enough power to supply the equivalent of 15,000 typical homes and save around 21,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

EPC Excellence

Lightsource Renewable Energy



It’s been another busy year for Lightsource Renewable Energy, one of Europe’s leading solar energy companies. After connecting a mammoth 23 projects in the month of December alone last year, the company has continued to add to its growing operational portfolio of just under 2 GW.

As well as maintaining its unrivalled connection rate of utility-scale UK solar sites, 2016 has been another year of significant milestones for Lightsource – completing Europe’s largest floating solar farm, the UK’s first Contracts for Difference (CfD) solar project and connecting the first solar farm in Ireland.

The year kicked off with the innovative floating solar farm on array on Thames Water’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, in London. Over 23,000 solar photovoltaic panels and 60,000 plastic floats have been fixed together and anchored to the bed of the reservoir, using 177 anchors and concrete blocks. Work began in February 2016 and despite challenging weather conditions the project was completed ahead of schedule. The 6.3 MW site is now powering Thames Water’s nearby Hampton Water Treatment Works – via a private-wire Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Through its PPA offering, Lightsource is able to finance and develop utility-scale solar and energy storage solutions using land near to site - connecting them directly into the supply of major energy users such as factories, warehouses, data centres, transport hubs, leisure centres, chemical plants and water treatment facilities.

A private-wire PPA can help businesses reduce exposure to energy market volatility and enable load shifting to avoid peak pricing by giving access to clean power at below the cost of importing power from the grid. Drawing power from an off-site solar installation also creates excellent CSR opportunities by helping businesses meet energy and carbon reduction targets.
In March, Lightsource followed up the floating project with the 5MW Crookedstone Road. Working hand-in-hand with Belfast International Airport (BIA), Lightsource funded and constructed Northern Ireland’s first ground based solar power station and connected it by a 1.2 km direct private wire into BIA’s facilities. The first of its kind on the Island of Ireland, this project demonstrates pioneering technical innovation in empowering the airport to procure a significant amount of electricity directly from the sun - during peak generation times, the airport can run up to 9 hours on solar power alone.

The Charity Farm installation, in Shropshire, was one of five solar projects to win support in the first round of the UK Government’s CfD auctions last year – the mechanism which replaced the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) scheme for projects over 5 MW. A total of 71.55 MW of solar projects were awarded CfDs in 2015 and the 11.94 MW Lightsource project is the first and only solar CfD project to be delivered to date.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Lightsource will continue to work with major energy users in the UK and Ireland to grow its pipeline of private-wire PPA projects, as well as expanding its operations further afield.

Judges comment:
Lightsource has a reputation for bringing large projects online, on time and at budget. Lightsource maintains a high degree of technical expertise balanced against meeting purchasing, logistical, and construction requirements all the while benefitting its owners and investors.

BIPV Initiative

CPI, Merck and Polysolar


Judges comment:
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), Merck, and Polysolar have joined forces to pioneer the creation of new materials such as solar glazing window panels that can both generate power as well as control building temperatures.

An upgraded version of a semi- transparent gray-colored lisicon formulation from Merck is a key element to the BIPV movement. The group plan to substantially increase energy yield and better thermal insulation at a better cost.

Smart Solar Commercial Roof-top Installatione

EvoEnergy


It’s been another iconic 12 months for EvoEnergy having started the year completing the UK’s 4th largest rooftop installation – the second largest on a single building – for global office and work solutions provider, Lyreco. The 3.811 MWp array consisting of 13,860 Trina 275W panels was funded by a PPA through Guinness Asset Management and was the first installation in the UK to use ground mount centralised inverter technology in a rooftop environment. Shortly after, EvoEnergy delivered a 1.5 MWp installation on Aldi’s new distribution centre in Cardiff having previously installed 2.1 MWp on their Bolton facility in 2015 via DSP Construction. In the summer, EvoEnergy stamped another iconic London building into their portfolio alongside the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building by installing a 26 kWp system on two floors at the summit of the recently developed South Bank Tower building. The installation became one of the highest PV arrays on a residential building in the UK (42 storeys). EvoEnergy also built on their expertise for designing and installing solar carports by completing a second carport installation (88.5 kWp) for Nottingham City Council at their popular Ken Martin Leisure Centre. With nine separate carports covering a combined 41 car parking spaces, the array formed part of the jigsaw that saw the Council achieve their goal of reducing the City’s carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020 four years early; EvoEnergy have installed several PV projects for the Council since 2011. Having installed two of the UK’s first solar carports, EvoEnergy were invited to provide their expertise into the BRE’s recent ‘guide to solar carports’. Shortly after, EvoEnergy also had a significant contribution into the BRE’s following publication; ‘a guide to commercial rooftop solar PV’. Other projects of significance this year include a 117 kWp installation on the rooftop of Bristol Sport’s £45 million redevelopment of the Ashton Gate stadium, funded by Bristol City Council as part of their own bid to reduce the City’s carbon emissions by 2020.