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Solar company nominated for two major awards

By Plug into the sun  |  Posted: May 30, 2012

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Penzance based solar PV installations company, Plug into the Sun, has been shortlisted for two prestigious sustainability awards.

Plug into the Sun was selected by the Renewable Energy Association, from 300 nominations for their floating array at Treliske Hospital.

The innovative project was shortlisted in the 'Flagship' category and came about in order to maintain the warranty on the new hospital roof. The solar panels were not allowed to touch the roof and therefore had to be attached to a 2ft parapet wall and actually floated above the roof.

Managing director of Plug into the Sun, Andrew Tanner said: "It was a massive challenge that needed a bespoke structural engineering report and a specially made frame."

This frame had to be able to withstand strong winds and also be resilient against the updraft caused by helicopters.

The company are also proud to be recognised for their work with Peru based charity, Global Education, which saw them shortlisted for the BusinessGreen Leader Award in the Renewable Energy Project of the Year category.

Andrew Tanner said that education had always been an important part of his focus for Plug into the Sun and it was exciting to think that future generations would be more aware of sustainability issues.

He said: "Our work with Global Education links schools in Cornwall with schools in Peru and makes the concept of sustainability real. Children learn about another culture, but also that sustainability is a challenge that faces everyone."

The solar industry has been through a challenging time over the last six months and Andrew is optimistic that customers will once again realise the benefits of solar power.

"We are still really excited to be in the industry and are encouraging people to look again at the current benefits of solar."

The FIT, which had been the subject of much excitement and criticism, is to be reduced to 16p/kWh on August 1st. However the reduction in tariff rate is linked to the fall in prices of solar panels and the rate of investment is actually higher now than it was when the tariff was at its height 43.3p/kWh.

"People seem to think that they have missed the boat with solar, but actually it just keeps on getting better.

"Being nominated is a nice boost for us as it shows that we are innovators in the industry." Andrew said.

The company also worked on the Eden Project's ground breaking staff owned solar venture which has also been nominated for a REA award in the same category.

Plug into the Sun has just gained its ISO accreditation which demonstrates the company's consistency and quality in regards to customer care.

"We apply the same care in our domestic installations as we do on major installs such as Treliske or the Eden Project." Andrew said.

The 7th Annual British Renewable Energy Awards will take place in, London on the 21st June and the Business Green awards are to be held on July 4th at the Royal Garden Hotel.

The company has just opened offices at the 'Green' Grade A, BREEAM accredited I2 building in Milton Keynes

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  • homerjay  |  June 01 2012, 10:06AM

    Plug into the sun; Jacs ''I am happy to pay the 1p towards green technology. I don't see this as being ripped off.'' The Renewable Energy Forum (REF), ''estimates that £1.5 billion a year is paid out in subsidies for all forms of renewable energy - including on and offshore wind - and that figure will rise to £8 billion a year by 2020.'' You do the maths

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  • Plug into the sun  |  June 01 2012, 8:28AM

    Hi Homerjay, I don't know about making a killing - but I do know that they were busy! I don't think that anyone really expected the FIT to generate that much interest and it became obvious that it needed to come down. It's going to be reduced again in August and this again causes uncertainty. Unfortunately I am unable to have solar power as my roof faces the wrong way and I am in a conservation area (this doesn't mean I have a fancy house - just an old one!) but I am happy to pay the 1p towards green technology. I don't see this as being ripped off. I don't resent the people that have had pv installed as it means that they are saving carbon and becoming more energy aware and that is a good thing. I will take a look at your links - thanks for sharing. It's good to learn as much as possible from others and go from there.

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  • homerjay  |  May 31 2012, 7:48PM

    Plug into the sun (Jacs) Thanks for the reply. I'll take that as 'yes', that you made a killing when Solar PV FITs were 43p/Kwhr. And when the gov't tried to reduce the ridiculously generous tariff, HomeSun and SolarCentury, in league with 'Friends' of the Earth were awarded a victory against the reduction in a 'carry on and rip off the energy bill payer' judgement. You can't expect any sympathy from us, or for the large investors who were guaranteed a 25 year killing in the 'solar gold rush'. This was why the tariff was reduced, due to being over generous and over subscribed. And Jeremy Leggett, SolarCentury's chairman, was boasting price parity within a couple of years! Even George Monbiot, the Green voice of the Guardian, came out against solar FITs as finance unsuitably targeted. As for the 'forward minded', yes, they've got a great 25 year, index linked investment courtesy of us. It isn't a fight against the gov't, the gov't are merely stopping our bills spiralling out of control. It's not easy being forward minded if you're renting or can't afford it, your roof is unsuitable etc. the exercise has seen yet more money transferred from the have nots to the haves. Granted, solar PV has improved, but we can learn from Germany's investment if we compare hours of sunshine and the Ruhr University assessment of the German experience and they were less than impressed. http://tinyurl.com/yjr8s6z Or if we're talking green jobs here's a study from King Juan Carlos University which is even more depressing http://tinyurl.com/chvbsb

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  • Plug into the sun  |  May 31 2012, 6:14PM

    Hi Homerjay, thanks for your response to my article. I am a citizen journalist and I also do PR for Plug. I have sent the same thing out to all Cornish newspapers because I think that it is a story worth celebrating. Plug has actually done some amazing work and no one really knows what has been acheived - this is why they deserve to be shortlisted. The price that we can currently offer has only just become achievable for us and something that we have been pushing for. We are passionate about the sustainable aspect of solar and it is really important that we make it as widely available to the public as possible. The 43p tariff was an amazing thing while it lasted and I don't think that anyone forward minded enough to take advantage of that opportunity will regret it. We have been battling with customer dissappointment since the introduction of the 21p tariff and things have looked bleak. We lost members of staff who are sorely missed and are managing to keep things going through the belief that a green future is something worth fighting for. If you have any more comments or questions I would be happy to discuss them. Jacs

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  • homerjay  |  May 30 2012, 9:49PM

    Nice (free) advert. If the FITs have been reduced so drastically in line with the fall in cost of PV installations why were these savings not passed on to the customer when the FIT was 43p/kwhr? Have you been profiteering off the back of the energy bill payer?

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