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Our process

Commercial proposal

We will put together a detailed commercial proposal for the host which covers:

  • Financial and carbon analysis including savings for host
  • Indicative design of proposed solar installation
  • Energy matching against energy usage patterns
  • Details of legal agreements
  • An outline timescale
  • Letter of authority to speak to DNO on behalf of host site about connection to national grid

Design and installation

Our in-house specialist – Chris Rigby prepares a final detailed design and a schedule of works. We do background work to establish:

  • Grid connection agreements
  • Land registry searches and planning issues

For a straightforward site this process takes about 6 months to get to installation. The Big Solar Co-op uses carefully vetted installers and will only use panels that meet our requirements for ethical sourcing.

The solar installation is financed via a community share offer.

Operation and maintenance

The solar array will be owned and operated by the Big Solar Co-op. We manage all service and maintenance, cleaning, monitoring and optimisation of panels and associated equipment such as inverters and cabling.

The site owner (or other connected energy user) will be billed for all the solar energy they use. The remaining energy is exported to the grid. Big Solar Co-op manages the export of energy and all regulatory issues with Ofgem and other relevant bodies. The site owner will have a named contact within Big Solar Co-op to deal with any site issues – and will schedule reviews to see if we can improve the installation or add enhancements such as energy storage, vehicle charging etc.