Coal Authority Completes Four Year Solar Photovoltaics Initiative
Date of Article
Jan 10 2020
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Advised by Carter Jonas, the Coal Authority has commissioned a new solar photovoltaics (PV) scheme for 100kW - marking the completion of a four-year initiative that entailed a comprehensive review of its sites for all renewable technologies. 

Whilst preliminary accredited for the Feed in Tariff, given the schemes commissioning date in July 2019 the scheme has achieved a marginal subsidy, with the lion’s share of project income coming directly from offsetting electricity import at the treatment works.

In order to ensure optimum viability, Carter Jonas undertook half-hourly data analysis on the site’s electricity demand alongside planning and grid screening to appropriately size the scheme. In addition, through negotiations with the local authority, the scheme was not conditioned to a 25 year period like most solar PV planning permissions, to ensure The Coal Authority can offset its demand for as long as possible. 
Carter Jonas reviewed over 135 sites for renewable technologies, including solar PV, wind, battery storage and gas generation. Given grid, planning and technical constraints, solar PV has been the most suitable technology across the portfolio. In total, planning permission for 2.5MW solar PV developments across 11 sites has been achieved and the Coal Authority has installed and commissioned more than 1.5MW across 9 schemes. This represents an offset of approximately 1,500,000kWh of their 25,000,000kWh consumption per annum.
The Coal Authority is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It works to protect the public and the environment in coal mining areas and manages the majority of Britain’s coal mining legacy. In 2015 it appointed Carter Jonas to undertake feasibility work to explore ways to offset its demand for electricity and minimise its impact on the environment. Following this review, Carter Jonas has supported the Coal Authority, providing planning and management advice to install solar panels across its portfolio of land and properties.
Clare Davey, Associate, Carter Jonas, said: “The Coal Authority’s very ethos is to minimise the impact of mining on the community and it has been extremely rewarding to work with such a forward-thinking client. Guided by its transformational strategy, the Carter Jonas team has used technological advancements in energy generation and the sites at its disposal to achieve a significant reduction on its energy consumption.” 

Colin Lambert, Innovation Project Manager of the Coal Authority said: “It’s been three years since our first solar installation and in that time we have saved money and improved our carbon footprint through the schemes that met the financial and installation requirements at that time. We continue to investigate the viability of further schemes in order to meet our aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions and operational costs of treatment schemes through innovation, research and development. Carter Jonas have been pivotal to the implementation of these projects, providing assistance at every step.”