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Getting started with solar

Whether you want to make the most of your existing solar tech, or you’re looking to diversify into renewables to improve your green credentials but not sure where to start, you’re not alone.

Solar regeneration is becoming increasingly widespread across the UK; many farmers and small-business owners are reconsidering moving into renewables and wondering whether solar could be the right fit for them.

Could solar suit your business?

There are various things to consider when planning your approach to solar; how long will the repayment period be? How can I put together a contract that suits my needs? Where should I install my solar panels? The first step to answering these questions is to find an installer you trust. They’ll be able to offer you guidance on finding a meter installer, checking contract paperwork and more — as well as ensuring you’re paid on time, at the highest available prices.

From installation to energy generation: your three-step guide to solar panels

  1. Is solar the right choice for you?

While the idea of free power from the sun is certainly an attractive one, the installation of an export-sized array requires a significant investment of time, money, and space. These factors are often overlooked in the initial stages of a project and can lead to delays and additional expense.

Despite these considerations, more and more businesses are turning to solar to help offset their energy usage, reduce their carbon output, and collect an additional income stream from their exported power.

  1. Getting the panels installed

The first step to determine if your ambitions of low-carbon power are realistic and cost-effective is to get in touch with a reputable solar installation company. Installers will have all the equipment and expertise to ensure your site has sufficient space and sunlight to generate enough power to make a system worthwhile.

Once the panels are wired up on the roof, the site will be generating power to help offset some of your onsite usage. Some smaller generators will stop at this point and just benefit from offsetting their power usage. For those who choose to oversize their array, an export meter will be required to monitor how much power has been sold back to the grid. Often installers will help with Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) creation and the appointment of a meter operator to help with the export meter install.

  1. How suppliers can help

Once the export MPAN is created and a Meter Operator is in place, your new solar site will need to arrange a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with an energy supplier. This supplier is not just there to provide an export price for your power, they will also facilitate the installation of your meter and accurately process the payments for all the power that your site exports to the grid. So, it’s important to ensure that the supplier you choose is going to be fully transparent and have your best interests in mind.

What’s a PPA?

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are contracts which allow people to sell their excess generated power to a licensed energy supplier. They make up a key part of the UK’s energy mix.

Finding the right renewables partner

Whatever power-generation technology you’re looking to use, working with an experienced renewables partner is key. At Drax, we’re proud to support many businesses like yours in generating and selling affordable, clean energy.

Our key focus is ensuring the generators we work with across the UK can maximise their revenue from selling excess renewable energy back to the grid. To make this happen, we ensure each business is matched with a PPA that’s tailored to their needs.

Support from Drax

We help our partners to:

  • Keep the energy-generation process simple and manageable
  • Ensure there are no hidden costs in their PPA contract
  • Sell high and get paid on time, every time

If you choose to sell renewable energy you generate back to the grid, we know how important it is to receive regular and punctual payments. That’s why we make sure we always pay our partners on time; in 2019-2020, we paid out a total of over £200m to our partners.

What’s more, on average between January and June 2021, we:

  • achieved +99% billing accuracy
  • answered 94% of calls in under 1 minute
  • replied to 91% of emails within 5 working days

We’ve also received Ofgem’s highest rating of ‘Good’ for our latest Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) compliance audit.

Working towards zero-carbon, lower-cost energy

We believe getting great deals for the businesses we partner with and creating a carbon-negative future go hand in hand. In 2019, we announced our goal to be carbon negative by 2030. We plan to use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while delivering renewable energy.

Join us, and be part of the change through diversifying your business. To find out more about working with Drax, download the Drax Renewables PPA Guide; it’s full of tips and advice on getting started and what to expect when you partner with us.

Picking your PPA

  • Choose from fixed-price, flexi-price and bespoke PPAs
  • Tailor your PPA to suit your generation tech: wind, solar, combined heat and power, hydro, and anaerobic digestion
  • Access quick, expert customer service to help you every step of the way

To find out more about how Drax could support your business, and help you find a PPA to suit you, give them a call on 0845 485 3134.

You can download our PPA guide too: energy.drax.com/ppaguide

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