BAM Energy funds 140 kWp solar PV array for Three Rivers Academy

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Photon Energy has installed a substantial solar PV array at state-of-the-art Three Rivers Academy in Hersham, Surrey, recently built by BAM Construction.

The Three Rivers Academy, a new secondary school in Surrey, has been designed to be a single, 16,000m² building, hosting the best of modern education facilities, whilst also promoting a feeling of community and belonging. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities including specialist classrooms for science and technology, distributed ICT provision, a large library and a range of drama studios and sports halls.

The 140 kWp PV installation was incorporated into the building design to help the school meet the renewable energy target required for achieving planning permission. The system will generate approximately 125,520 kWh of electricity per year and reduce carbon emissions by 65.1 tonnes per annum.

BAM Energy, a new division of BAM’s facilities management division – BAM FM, was appointed to fund the installation, releasing a significant sum from the construction budget. The cost of installing and operating the solar PV will be recovered through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where the school (managed by The Howard Partnership Trust) will buy power generated by the solar PV from BAM Energy for the next 20 years. The PPA underwent scrutiny by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), to ensure the fixed unit cost was competitive against grid power costs.

Photon Energy worked through the design process with BAM Energy and BAM Design in order to create a highly efficient solar PV system, with enhanced safety features and performance monitoring capability.

We installed 467 Premium series Bisol 300 Wp solar in a single array on a flat-roofed area of the building. For optimal performance SolarEdge provided an optimiser per pair of modules, linked to a Fire Fighter Gateway. The system will automatically shut down should the fire alarm go off. The high specification system also incorporates a SolarEdge GSM that connects the inverters to the internet, enabling continuous performance monitoring, right down to module level.

Jenny Palfreyman, Senior Engineer at Photon Energy said “Working closely with BAM Design enabled us to provide the right technical solution for not only the school but BAM Energy who have a long term PPA with the trust.”

Reid Cunningham, Strategic Development Director of BAM Energy said: “We worked in collaboration with Photon Energy to ensure the optimal design and performance of the solar array could be achieved. We’re confident that the high performance Bisol modules used in conjunction with SolarEdge optimisers will deliver the best solution for all parties involved."