Our first success was the 50 kWp PV system at Teign School in Kingsteignton.  This system is fully operational and generating better than expected.

After changes in government support for renewables and community energy, the status of the pound and its effects on installation costs, and low inflation, the landscape is now much more challenging than when we set up TECs.

Despite these considerable setbacks, we are still determined to continue. We have been investigating new post-Feed-in-Tariff financial and technical models via an RCEF grant. Results now submitted.

Paramount 21 at Heathfield and Yeo Valley at Brunel, like many businesses, have had to focus on other priorities due to economic uncertainties.

We are also working with Tebdburn St Mary Village Hall , Chudleigh Town Council and Highweek Primary School  about LED lighting and other energy saving measures. They are all carrying out energy assessments, using the TECs energy pack, prior to taking action within their buildings. Ably assisted by TECs’ own Dr Watt

LET THERE BE LIGHT………………..L E D LIGHT!

From Phil Durbin of Tedburn Village Hall Committee, “In late December 2017, as part of a review of our energy costs undertaken earlier that year, we installed solar panels at our village hall at Tedburn St Mary. As time passed during 2018, we were very pleased with the savings made………comparing total kWh units used between calendar 2017 and calendar 2018, we used 27% less kWh units. A good start, but we also wanted to look more closely at where the electricity was being used, with the aim of increasing efficiency wherever possible and further reducing our use of electricity and also our carbon footprint.

A contact at Teignbridge District Council gave me details of Teign Energy Communities. He said they might be able to help us with the next stage of our energy saving project. I rang and arranged a meeting with Fuad at our village hall. This proved to be very constructive and he provided us with energy reading meters and an Energy Saving Pack to start looking in more detail how we were using electricity. Some surprising findings were made. We were convinced that our old immersion heater system that we used for hot water throughout the hall was a significant user of power…. but despite it being a heavy user when it was on, the ½ hour, 1 hour and 2 hour boost systems we installed some years ago provided a very effective way of controlling our use in this area. The relatively recently installed wall mounted boiler system for hot water drinks was very efficient. Our electric cooker used a lot of power, but was infrequent in its use, and is modern and efficient. We have 3 fridges and we identified one older one that used more power so we will be replacing it. Our main heating system is an oil fired boiler so in the short term I’m afraid we have to live with that, but again is not a heavy electricity user.

In the end it came down to one area where we were using significant amounts of electricity……lighting. We have over 50 fluorescents and almost a dozen other basic light units at the hall……none are LED. I think we knew that it was an area where we could save energy use, but we were shocked by the significance of how much we could save. Fuad and I went through all the calculations and decided there were indeed significant savings to be made, and together the following was proposed:

Replacement of all fluorescent tubes with long life LED tubes (and fittings where required)

10 new LED bulkhead lights

Fitting of 5 Danlers Illuminated Time Lag Switches to add to other time lag switches we already have….it is surprising how many places these can be used to get round “the light being left on for no purpose for hours!!”

Replace the old, inefficient fridge.

I am pleased to report that the above work has now been completed and we are extremely grateful to Fuad and Teign Energy Communities both for the grant towards the cost of the work and the tremendous support and advice given to us throughout the project. We will be reporting back to let you know about the savings we will be making!!”

The first TECs installation is up and generating for Teign School.  It was successfully financed by our first Community Share Offer.

TECs first project was in partnership with TEIGN SCHOOL in Kingsteignton.  The new Sports Hall has the perfect orientation to benefit from solar PhotoVoltaics (PV).   Simon Herbert of Free Energy SW, one of TECs’ preferred installers, was our local engineer for this project. He has now installed the array.

The school’s senior management were on board and we worked closely with Tony Dolan , Head of Sixth Form and Kate Ball at Teign School, as well as Iain Freeland for the Templer Academy Schools Trust (TAST), now Education South West.

We are working alongside Zoe Williamson the Education South West Sustainability Manager.  To get the school involved with the whole energy issue across the curriculum we are waiting for a new Teign School Energy Champion to be nominated.  This is an exciting prospect.  It fits in neatly with our VISION of raising greater awareness of energy use.

Engagement through school activites is also crucial . The Energy team (Zoe from TAST , Kate and Tony from Teign) organised an ENERGY WEEK during February 2016 at Teign for students to talk about issues around renewable energy, the school’s energy use and their new solar panels.  TECs awarded prizes for the winning entries, see the news page http://teignenergycommunities.co.uk/news/

Zoe has been working closely with Keith Webber , Energy Guru from Okehampton College on a comprehensive energy audit at the Teign school. TECs is hoping to help deliver some of the proposals via its Community Fund. We are fully on board with the energy-awareness raising at Teign School. Okehampton College’s work in this area and full school engagement is very inspiring.

Teign School has been the first recipient of our 2017 Community Fund.  They have used the money to install new LED panels in several corridors. Energy and money savings have been made as a result.

We were approached by Chudleigth Town Council previously to advise about an on-going project to fit solar panels to the roof of the town hall. For various reasons this didn’t prove a viable option.

However the town council was still keen to reduce their energy costs, as well as carbon.

Dr Watt has made several visits to help staff and volunteers to measure their energy consumption in order to pin-point where best to undertake measures. This monitoring is on-going. The results will be assessed prior to taking any action in the town hall. Watch this space for more updates.

We want to keep you up to date with what’s happening to your projects.

We’ve set up a guest login for you to access information about system performance and CO2 savings.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

If you have any questions about the system or related performance data, please contact Dr Watt and Wendy Washer.

Teign School solar PV : https://monitoring.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/login

  • User name = guest@teignenergycommunities.co.uk
  • Password = TECs2016

We had secured FiT pre-registration from Ofgem for three sites, two in/near Moretonhampstead.  The other site was Hannah’s at Seale Hayne, however, the September deadline proved too big a challange for Hannah’s Trust.

Unfortunately unanticipated structural work prevented TVCE’s Moretonhampstead projects from going ahead. This has been a great disappointment to both TECs and TVCE. We were almost there and fell at the final hurdle. So frustrating.

TVCE have dusted themselves off and are now looking at a much larger and ambitious hydro scheme.  A feasibility study organised under an RCEF grant is being carried out in late 2017.

Following on from the initial feasibility study, TVCE faced challenges with securing agreement with the landowner. This brought them up against a subsidy deadline for the project . After all their hard work , they reluctantly decided to call it a day.  Knowledge has been gained and lessons learned, so all is not lost. The project could be re-visited at a later date of course.