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Macquarie Bank Funding for Self Storage

19th June 2014

UK commercial solar rooftop installations have been held back to date by a combination of economic uncertainty and cash flow constraints, but Stephen Davies of renewables specialist company TGE Group hopes that a new funding deal and a relaxation of planning regulations will help unlock the potential that self storage roof space holds.

With an estimated 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial roofs in the UK, there is clearly massive potential for solar PV on commercial buildings, particularly within the self storage sector.  Despite this, the take up rate across the sector has been historically low compared to others sectors due to a number of issues ranging from financing to planning.  

However, recent developments look set to make it easier than ever before for owners and occupiers of commercial units to exploit the opportunities that their empty roof spaces offer.

Installing solar power on commercial and industrial buildings is a very cost effective and efficient way of delivering energy to site as the power is locally generated and, as such, it avoids transmission losses of over 8%, whilst delivering a healthy return on investment of around 14%.  Yet, the initial financial outlay has often been a stumbling block for businesses, so it is welcome news that the banking sector is starting to make funds available to businesses looking to overcome this obstacle.

TGE Group was recently appointed by banking group Macquarie Lending to support a multi-million pound commercial property solar power roll-out, making as much as £100m available to fund commercial solar power installations across the UK.  This means owners of warehouses and self-storage units can opt for a fully funded solar PV solution, giving organisations an opportunity to reduce their electricity bills significantly without any capital outlay.

The new deal means that roof mounted solar PV systems can be installed free of charge on self storage facilities or other commercial roof spaces.  The energy which is generated can then be used on site, or by adjoining businesses at a lower cost than importing energy from the grid.  At the end of the 20 year maintenance agreement, ownership of the installation reverts to the customer with the benefit of free electricity for the remaining life of the system.  

With no capital outlay, and a means for organisations to future-proof against rising energy prices, the systems will bring long term energy savings, whilst reducing CO2 emissions. It’s an exciting prospect which doesn’t affect electricity supply but simply reduces the amount of power drawn from the grid and therefore energy bills whilst enhancing green credentials.  

The next bit of good news, which we expect DECC to announce over the summer, is that commercial and industrial rooftop solar systems over 50kWp will no longer require planning, as is currently the case for systems under 50kWp. This will remove yet another hurdle and will save on average between 2-4% of installation costs, throwing the door even further open to discerning owners and occupiers of near south facing commercial roofs.  

DECC is fully behind commercial roof top solar, so for self-storage operators, this is an unprecedented opportunity to have a solar system installed for free, without the hassle of planning, and to reap the rewards that commercial roof space offers. For further information, call the Energy Team on 0845 643 2825 for more information.

Tagged as: funding, Solar Panels

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