Establish your sites viability early.
By completing a basic desktop survey we can quickly tell you whether or not your site is viable and establish the appropriate technology for you.

Desktop survey

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The first step towards establishing a site’s feasibility is a basic ‘Desktop Survey’. This allows us to ask some key questions and quickly establish whether or not your site is suitable.

This service is offered at no cost to the customer and with no obligation to progress any further. It also allows us to provide you with our professional advice and avoid either party wasting their time unnecessarily.

Some of the key questions we need to ask are:

Where is the site and what are your contact details?

Basic information we know, but important for us to establish if your location is one we serve and to ensure we have all of your details correct for future correspondence.

If you are located outside of our serviced area, don’t worry. We can recommend a partner who will be able to deliver the same high level of service to you.

What are your specific requirements?

Before we can advise you, we need to find out about your specific requirements. Is it wind turbines or solar PV you are interested in or is it electrical contracting. Once we know the technology or service you require we can begin to discuss, what you already know, is it a domestic or commercial application, what size system are you interested in, do you already have other technologies on site etc…

Choosing to Invest in wind turbines is an important decision for all. There is an element of risk attached up front during the feasibility and planning stages as we cannot fully tell what the local authorities will and won’t accept in each individual application. The cost of a typical project will go into the tens of thousands, therefore costs Vs return must be carefully discussed.

For such an investment, it is important to know what your budget is? We can provide a good idea of what the costs will be, so you can make an informed decision, when moving forward.

What type of grid supply serves the property?

This is a key question in every project, as it will decipher what we can and can’t connect to the national grid. There is a limit of 3.68kWp per phase where you can connect without permission, anything above this value requires full permission prior to connecting.

An application will then be made to the DNO and a quotation will then be provided. The cost to connect can vary dramatically from project to project, ranging from no cost to multiple thousands of pounds, hence the importance of asking this question.

Specific to wind turbines

Do you have a good enough wind speed?

Without a minimum average wind speed of 5m/s at 10m above ground level, once corrections to the wind speed have been applied, it is questionable whether or not the site is suitable? The starting point for all MCS accredited installers is, the NOABL data base (Numerical Objective Analysis of Boundary Layer). We can gain a basic understanding of the sites available wind and from here we can make some assumptions in order to validate a site visit.

Do you have enough land to site the turbine?

For a wind turbine to operate effectively, the site must preferably offer an open aspect, 360 degrees around the turbines location. The chosen location must maximize separation distances from large obstacles to allow the wind to retain the speed and power it has gathered, whilst traveling towards the turbine.

Nearly as important is planning, without planning permission you can’t install a wind turbine!  There are a number of key distances that each site must achieve, these include minimum distances to avoid noise nuisance or shadow flicker and from hedge lines to avoid impact on wildlife, especially bats.

What obstacles could reduce the wind’s power?

Through discussions with you and by using Google Earth, we can assess the number of trees, buildings and other tall obstacles that could influence the winds power. We can get a basic feel for the lie of the land and assess hills and valleys, beginning to build up a picture, of the locations on site where the turbine could be located.

Are you aware of typical project timescales?

Each project varies in the time taken from initial feasibility through to installation. Typically a wind project will take between 5 – 7 months. It is important you are aware of this from the start as it is very hard for us to give you definitive timings, as there are too many external influences that affect each stage of the process.

The planning stages and application to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to connect onto the grid take the largest proportion of the project timescale. Once we have both permissions in place, the lead times on the turbine manufacture and the installation are relatively quick.

Specific to solar PV

Do you have an appropriate space to site the panels?

Whether you are looking to fit your panels to a roof or in a field on a A-frame, we must establish the area available so we can advise you on the size of system you can accommodate. It is sometimes hard to envisage how much space is required to site an array and we must carefully measure the chosen location to make sure there is sufficient room.

Are there any potential shading issues?

Seems obvious but you would be surprised how many poor installations we have seen from other companies, either siting the system too close to a large tree or not accounting for a chimney stack.

Where possible we will always site the panels well away from any shading to avoid reduced performance. If this is not possible, it will be accounted for in any calculations we carry out and it will be presented to you.

We will pin point where we think the panels should go and then ask you the heights of trees and buildings and what can and can’t be removed if required.

What is the orientation from South and pitch of the roof?

Both pieces of information are used in the MCS approved calculation used to establish the expected output of your system. The closer to south and with a pitch of 30 degrees the better. The optimum pitch does vary slightly as you move up and down the country and will be accounted for by our designers.

When installing on a roof the pitch and orientation are already determined. We can establish the orientation from Google Earth and you can give us a rough idea of the pitch, (this will be measured and confirmed in a site visit).

If installing a floor mounted array, we can orientate the panels due South and set the pitch of the panels at 30 degrees, allowing the system to perform at its very best.

Are you aware of typical project timescales?

Each project varies in the time taken from initial feasibility through to installation. Typically a solar project will take between 1 – 3 months. This is based on a system being installed under permitted development rights (PDR).

It is important you are aware of this from the start, as it is very hard for us to give you definitive timings, if the array requires planning permission. Generally solar is widely accepted by local authorities as a non-obtrusive technology, which leads to a high number of approvals.

If installing larger systems, it is usually the time taken for the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to come back with a quotation to connect onto the grid that will govern the speed of the project. Once we have all the necessary permissions in place, the lead times on the panels, equipment and the installation are relatively quick.

These are just some of the questions we may cover at this stage. The next step would be a site visit. To find out what a site visit entails please click here.

Please note: If your site does not seem appropriate at this point, we will let you know and we can discuss alternative options. Investment Renewables will walk away from a non-viable project for the benefit of the customer and our company reputation.

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