Lescaze Solar Array

Listed 30s building goes solar in local partnership.
William Lescaze offices have new 30kW solar PV array.

A new 30kW solar-PV array has been put on the roof of the Lescaze Offices in Dartington village to provide renewable electricity.

The Dartington Hall Trust invested £35,000 in Totnes Renewable Energy Society shares to provide the funds needed to invest in the array. TRESOC worked with local renewable energy company Beco Energy Ltd to deliver the project in Dartington village. The solar array, carefully hidden from view on the Lescaze Offices roof was completed in late November.

Due to the Grade II listed status of the modernist flat-roofed building, which was designed by Swiss American architect William Lescaze in the 1920s (with additions in 1936), listed building consent was needed as well as planning consent from South Hams District Council.

The consent required the array to be invisible from ground view so the array is set back from the roof edge on a Flamco Falx mounting system using ballast that maintains the roof integrity. The Qcell 280 Wp modules will deliver around 21,000 kWh of green electricity annually and reduce the building’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11.48 tonnes a year.

TRESOC will provide electricity to the Trust at a reduced rate.

Karen Williams, chief operating officer of The Dartington Hall Trust, says: ‘It’s great to be working with TRESOC on the Lescaze project, by providing equity investment through our SEEDbed programme we have been able to secure a renewable energy supply for one of our buildings as well as being able to provide targeted enterprise support for a valued community organisation through our SEEDbed incubator programme.

Ian Bright, managing director, TRESOC, says: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Dartington to produce low cost green electricity for key stakeholders, high value employment in local businesses and a sustainable financial return on local community investment.’

David Inscoe, managing director, Beco Energy Ltd, says: ‘We have delivered many projects with TRESOC, from social housing to commercial roof top projects, and are delighted to have delivered another success.

To fund the project, the Trust made an equity investment of £35,000 in TRESOC through its SEEDbed programme. This follows on from the Trust’s investment of 20K in 2014, and £200 as a corporate member when TRESOC was founded in 2010. TRESOC will maintain the array with the specialist monitoring services of Argand Solutions.

[Press release provide by The Dartington Hall Trust, 2017]

SHINE project kicks off

We’ve started our SHINE project… solar PV on the roofs of 77 social housing homes across the region, from Plymouth to Exeter, concentrated in Totnes and Dartington. Expected annual generation 270,000 kWh. Savings for SDRHA residents approx. £40,000 per year. C02 equivalent 121 tonnes per year. NOW GENERATING! – the array on Devon Rural Housing Association’s HQ, also home to the Totnes Work Hub. Lower electricity bills for tenants! The SHINE project launched on Friday 27th March, 2015.

Torquay Museum – solar roofs

Torquay Museum

Update:  This project is on hold until we are able to raise more funds and the Museum is in a position to pursue the project.

TORQUAY MUSEUMRanked among the finest in South West England, Torquay Museum was built to house and display the collections of the Torquay Natural History Society, founded in 1844.  The Venetian-Gothic style building dates back to 1874 and the land under the museum was leased for 1,000 years from the Cary family and rent was 1/- per year, which is still paid today.

Like many other museums of this era, energy efficiency was not a driving factor in it’s design, and measures such as insulation are difficult to incorporate retrospectively in a listed building.  Visitors’ expectations have grown, such that lighting and heating now account for the museum’s high electricity bills – approx. £12,000 a year.  Our project will see discreet, roof-mounted solar PV on a more modern extension that houses the museum’s archives, making a dent in those expenses.  It is, however, a significant step in the museum’s Sustainability Plan, which may see TRESOC involved in developing a biomass boiler shared with the church next door!

A Co-operation Agreement is in place with the museum Trustees, the legal agreement for the lease is straightforward as there is no lender, and we have reviewed the land registry title deeds for the property (a lovely old style deed written by quill on parchment paper dating from 1874!).

“Torquay Museum are excited to be working with TRESOC to develop this innovative initiative. Not only will we be reducing our energy costs in real terms, we will also be part of the solution when it comes to tackling climate change. By installing renewable energy solutions we will be acting as a beacon for other cultural institutions in the region and fuelling an increasing awareness of the role organisations can play in encouraging behavioural change. 

A huge benefit of our partnership with TRESOC is the opportunity to reach out to our community to invite investment, both financial and cultural. Through this scheme Torquay Museum will be able to build on its relationships within the community and become a fully integrated community asset.”

– Phil Collins, ex-Museum Director