Sunday, 11 December 2011
Inshriach has a huge flat roof ideally suited to solar power and part of our winter renewables drive was a scheme to reduce our hefty electricity consumption. Then a month ago the government announced it would halve the tariff available and the entire solar buying world went hell bent on catching the higher rate. That rate expires tonight and for the last fortnight there has been only a thin veneer of calm across Inshriach. On Friday we hauled 32 paving slabs up to the roof, yesterday we installed new circuit breakers and the inverters and early this afternoon 32 solar panels and lots of aluminium framing turned up courtesy of our friends at Enviko. By 5 o clock tonight (Sunday) it was pitch dark and being 3 floors up on an icy roof scattered with paving slabs, frames, skylights and the equivalent of 16 flat screen TVs was decidedly hairy but we got it all up there and now, with only 5 hours before the deadline, we just need to send in the paperwork and come back tomorrow to connect it up and point it at the sun.
Down the hill we decided that the farm ought to be solar powered as well so we installed another inverter and meter in the barn. The other 16 panels will be spread across existing farm buildings over the next few days and the 4kw they provide should cover all the power demands of the farmyard, the workshops and the yurters shower and be the foundation for a sustainable barn conversion which we are going to take on when funds allow.