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New Dawn For UK Subsidy-free Commercial Rooftop Solar?

 

From left to right: Mike Phillips, Simon Booth and Toby Smith.

The management team at Zestec Asset Management say they are ushering in a new dawn by changing the way solar energy is funded without government subsidies. Zestec Asset Management, based in Ferndown, Dorset, has developed a pioneering business model that is set to illuminate the solar energy sector.

Staffed by a team with many years’ experience in the UK solar sector, Zestec is shining a light on the future of the industry. The company enables clients to achieve long term financial savings by generating their own clean, green electricity under a fully-funded, subsidy-free, solar photovoltaic (PV) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model. Clients not only benefit from reducing their carbon emissions, but are protected from long term energy price increases as the PPA is locked into retail price inflation.

Simon Booth, MD, explained: “For many years the installation of commercial solar PV has largely only been economically viable with the help of government subsidies. In recent years the government has severely cut its subsidies and the industry and clients have suffered. We have created a funding model which provides clients with significantly reduced long-term electricity costs without need for the support of any government subsidy. This subsidy-free model ensures access to clean, green electricity for organisations operating in the private and public sector."

Zestec manages and develops solar PV assets on behalf of institutional and private investors. Its multi-million pound funding means it can rapidly develop new commercial solar PV systems under its PPA model as well as acquire existing solar PV systems under its Buy-Back scheme.

“We partner with solar PV installers and leading equipment manufacturers to provide clients with solar systems that deliver predictable and reliable electricity savings over a 25-year period," Simon added. We are passionate about renewable energy and believe we can make a difference in the fight against climate change without support from government subsidies."

Last year, as revealed by the National Grid, was the "greenest year ever" including the first day when wind, nuclear, and solar produced more energy than gas and coal and there was more electricity generated from solar than ever before, producing a quarter of Britain's energy supply.

Since 2011 the team at Zestec has been helping commercial and public sector organisations save money through cleaner energy. One example saw national transport company Stagecoach commission the team to install solar PV systems on its bus depots under its fully-funded PPA scheme. Virtually all of the locally generated solar electricity is being used to significantly reduce each depot’s electricity bill.

Seven solar PV systems totalling 700 kWp have been installed at Stagecoach depots and are forecast to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 236 tonnes in the first year and save more than £1.5 million in bills over the next 25 years. Zestec is currently working with a wide and diverse range of clients, spanning most business sectors across the UK.

One commercial client is set to install c.1,480 solar panels with a capacity of 400kWp. This has projected savings of £50,000 for the first five years and £840,000 across the 25-year air-space lease period. Under Zestec’s model, when the lease comes to an end, ownership of the solar PV system automatically transfers to the property owner who will then benefit from a further decade of free solar electricity. And the lease is also automatically transferred to any new owner of the site should it be sold at any time during the lease period.

Simon added: “An energy mix dominated by fossil fuels is soon to be a thing of the past. Providing decentralised renewable electricity generation, where power is generated at the point of use, is as important for the UK’s future energy security as cutting carbon emissions.

“Our mission, as one of the UK’s most innovative asset management and development companies, is to create value for our clients by enabling them to generate their own power without the need for any capital expenditure or government subsidy."


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