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Edinburgh Solar Co-op Complete

The largest community owned solar energy scheme is completed ahead of schedule


We recently completed a framework to install 1.4MW of Solar PV in the largest Community Energy Scheme of its kind in Scotland. The project began with a partnership between Edinburgh City Council, The Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC), Energy 4All and Emtec Energy.  This huge collaboration has allowed Edinburgh to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint and contribute towards the council’s target of reducing 42% of emissions by 2020. Any surplus energy is also sold back to the grid, allowing the rest of the UK to benefit from the clean energy generated. The project will provide investors with tax reliefs while the local community can benefit from renewable energy sources.

 This is currently the largest community-led solar PV installation in Scotland and is installed across 24 public buildings, including a leisure centre, community centre and various schools across Edinburgh’s district.  After careful assessment of the councils’ portfolio of buildings, the leading 25 sites, in terms of suitability and energy consumption, were selected ensuring most the energy produced from the solar panels are utilised on-site.

This 8-month project, completed between February and September 2016, is expected to produce an annual yield of 1,120,000kWh which equates to a reduction of 553,280kg of CO₂ emissions a year. This is a huge boost towards the councils local energy targets and a further step towards the governments 2020's commitments.

In all the frameworks we have delivered, this has by far been the most challenging but also the most rewarding. On-site works of 10 weeks can only ever be accomplished through months of detailed planning, and the effort and hard work by all stakeholders who paid dividends throughout the contract. Community schemes are notoriously difficult to plan and deliver. Being involved in the largest community owned solar scheme in Scotland and delivering this on-budget and ahead of schedule is something we are very proud of.

Chris Clark, Director at Emtec Energy