Rob’s solar and storage installation experience

Have you ever thought about getting solar and battery storage for your home, but first you’d like to hear what the whole experience is like from beginning to end, from another customer? Well, now you absolutely can!

We’ve been chatting with Rob, who recently decided to invest in solar and storage for his home, to generate his own electricity from the sun, and have the ability to store it for use when he needs it the most. He’ll also make power cuts a thing of the past.

The kit

Rob’s solar and storage system includes 8 SunPower Maxeon 3 430W panels, a Solis 3kW string inverter, bird mesh, and a Tesla Powerwall 2 with Backup Gateway.

The questions and answers

What were Rob’s motivations for getting home solar and storage in the first place? Why did he choose Joju? What was the solar and storage design and installation process like, and how much is Rob’s system generating?

You can find out the answers to all these questions and more by listening to Rob chat about his solar and storage design and installation experience, right here:

Discover more about solar and storage for your home

Check out our solar and storage home case studies

Chat with us, or enquire about getting solar and storage for your home.

Solar and Storage at the University of Wales Trinity St David

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is dedicated to creating a community which supports sustainability through social, economic, cultural, and environmental responsibility.

Sustainable development is one of the University’s values, with staff and students working together to have “a positive impact on people, communities and the planet”. This multi-campus centre of learning holds Level 5 of the Green Dragon Environmental Standard and there has also been significant financial investment in solar and storage so the University can generate its own clean, green energy. To this end, Joju Solar has been working on bringing solar and battery storage to two buildings on the Swansea campus, changing the way the buildings generate and store power.

It takes two…

On the College of Art’s Dynevor building, at the heart of the city’s arts quarter, we’ve installed a 130kWh Pixii battery alongside 150 kWp of PV, using Canadian Solar 380Wp panels and a Solis inverter.

We’ve also installed a 42kWh Victron battery with 80 kWp of solar on the Technium 2 building at the Swansea campus. Again, we used Canadian Solar 380Wp panels and a Solis inverter.

In terms of selecting the kit, half hourly data was used to specify batteries that best matched the excess generation of the PV systems. The panels and inverters were chosen based on a mix of quality and cost.

Battery benefits

The solar PV generates electricity which can either be used immediately, or stored in the battery for when the buildings need it the most. There’s a mixed level of demand in both buildings as being a base of education, the buildings aren’t as well-populated over the weekend. It therefore makes sense to store the self-generated energy during those periods for use when footfall is greater.

Savings to celebrate

The systems will contribute Co2 savings of approximately 41.5 tonnes a year, supporting the University’s climate commitments. There will also be significant financial savings across both buildings. These are estimated at around £37,000 a year on the basis of a 22p per unit electricity price and the systems generating around 200,000 kwh a year with the batteries using 85% of that.

And there’s more…

We’ve also installed 22.8kWp of solar on a third building, Technium 1. With sixty 380Wp panels and a Solis inverter, the system is estimated to save 4.44 tonnes of Co2 a year. .

 Ed Baughan, Joju’s Head of Commercial Solar said:

“Our team is delighted to work with UWTSD to help them realise their sustainability ambitions. At the heart of everything we do is our mission of cutting carbon, so it’s great to install the technology that helps the university reduce its carbon footprint and create greater energy self-sufficiency, whilst making financial savings too”.   

A sustainability hero

 When it comes to its students, UWTSD encourages everyone to “Become the hero of your own story” by “creating the education experience you’ve always wanted”. By making a real commitment to cutting carbon, the university is becoming the hero of its own sustainability story too – taking positive strides towards a green future and leading by example.

Joju is proud to be working with UWTSD and we relish the supporting role we’re able to play in their story of environmental responsibility.

Further reading

Oxfordshire solar and storage decarbonisation

Oxfordshire’s carbon-cutting nine

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. It’s designed to encourage green investment and support clean growth goals, alongside thousands of jobs in the low carbon and energy efficiency sectors.

As part of the scheme, Oxfordshire County Council secured grant funding and engaged Ameresco to carry out an assessment on a selection of council assets – looking at how to improve energy efficiency. Part of the assessment included the design and installation of renewables, and we were subsequently approached back in 2021 to help nine sites reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy self-sufficient.

Making a difference across a mix of sites

The nine sites our Joju Solar team worked on across the county included two fire stations, five schools, and two community centres. The focus was on cutting carbon by generating solar energy, as well as giving the sites the option to store any excess power in a battery. This way, the power could be used when the sites needed it the most and to help avoid any potential power cuts. We installed 245kWp of solar in total, and also fitted a Tesla Powerwall at every site, with the Abbey Centre doubling up on its battery power.

Nine times the carbon savings!

Since the installation, the sites have been saving approximately 43,107 KG of Co2 per year, contributing to the ongoing decarbonisation of the county, and helping to power the buildings with self-generated energy from the sun.

We thrive on supporting communities to generate and manage their own energy by ‘just adding sunshine’, and it was a pleasure to assist Oxfordshire County Council in meeting their ongoing sustainability ambitions.

Further reading

Find out more about how we work with the public sector. 

Read about our solar panels for schools projects.

Check out our solar and battery storage installations on the University of Wales Trinity St David.

 

 

 

Electric Vehicle Charger, Isle of Wight installed by Joju Charging

Leading the charge on the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Council are aiming to achieve net zero goals for their own operations by 2030, and net zero emissions across the island by 2040. Encouraging the move to electric vehicles, and the supporting EV charging infrastructure needed, is a crucial part of this. The Isle wants to cater for the growing number of residents switching to electric, as well as for visiting EV drivers in this popular tourist destination.

Involving Joju Charging 

The first step for our Joju Charging team was to undertake a comprehensive feasibility study, supporting the Council with the information to decide where EV Charging infrastructure would be placed, what type of infrastructure is needed, and how it can best be funded. There was already a small private charging network around the ferry terminals, and also a limited number of historic chargers needing to be replaced.

Following our study, it was agreed Joju would install in 12 main settlements around the island to get a comprehensive spread of charge point locations, expanding charging coverage significantly. These include Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Cowes/East Cowes, Ventnor, Yarmouth, Freshwater, Shanklin, Wootton Bridge, Seaview and Lake.

The infrastructure

 Altogether there are 33 charge points on the Island, including:

  • Ten previously installed, dual on-street fast chargers

These have been funded by OZEV and Council investment to help meet residential demand. We’ve adopted them, have upgraded some of the units, and are continuing this process.

  • Seven standalone rapids, and 16 dual fast chargers

We introduced our funding partner Mer to the project and these charge points are funded by them and maintained by us. We installed the chargers in public car parks in areas like Newport, Ryde, Shanklin, Sandown, Cowes, and Yarmouth. They’re perfect whether you need a rapid charge to quickly get on the move, a fast charge if you’re visiting local attractions, or for residents needing an overnight charge.

We’re also exploring expansion and additional charging infrastructure on the island.

By popular demand…

The popularity of the sites really has grown and grown. Of all of our charge points on the Mer network, three of the Isle of Wight chargers are regularly in the top 10. That’s in terms of usage in the last 30 days. There are seasonal variations of course, but this just highlights the appetite for EV charging infrastructure on the island.

Joju Charging’s Head of Public Sector Sales, Emma Blades, commented:

“It’s fantastic working with the Isle of Wight team who are committed to developing a robust EV charging infrastructure on the island. There has been some great conversation on local online forums praising the charge points and encouraging visitors to come to the Isle with their electric vehicles. One forum contributor even booked a holiday off the back of a chat about the availability of EV charge points! It definitely makes our Joju Charging team proud to hear that the network is helping to attract visitors to the island as word gets out there.”

Long may the infrastructure expansion continue, and long may it attract visitors to the island, as well as serving EV-driving residents.

Further reading

Joju Charging has won Contractor of the Year at the EVIES three times. Find out about our latest award win.

Discover more of our EV charging case studies.

Find out more about how we work with the public sector.

Joju Solar installation on Bridport Leisure Centre

Swimming with Solar – Bridport Leisure Centre

Let’s talk installing solar on Leisure Centres… in particular, in Bridport.

Bridport Leisure Centre is a non-profit making, busy, community recreational hub, offering a wide range of activities for local people. These include a swimming pool, fitness classes, gym, squash, sports hall, yoga and kids activities.

How is it all powered? Well, the Centre was keen to explore having solar to help generate the energy required. This way, they could save on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time. We were only too pleased to help make this happen, of course.

Community-funded, community-owned

Initially, our Joju team created designs and costings for the site. Following funding discussions, we brought our good friends and colleagues at Energy 4 All on board. They look at how much power the system is going to generate and how much of it will be used on site by the Leisure Centre. Then, with funds from local community investors purchasing shares in the system, they pay for the project in its entirety. They maintain it, and buy the electricity that’s produced and consumed on site, at an agreed rate. The ownership of the system is then in the hands of local people, for the benefit of the local community.

On the roofs…

The installation took our Joju Solar team just under two weeks to complete, and all whilst keeping the Centre fully operational. That’s something we pride ourselves on and we know just how important it is to make sure any potentially disruptive work is carried out ‘out of hours’.

We installed 184 Canadian Solar 410W panels in total, and the install is actually split into two systems. 147 of the panels make up a system of just over 60 kWp. That’s on the main roof, above the swimming pool… hence our Swimming with solar headline! The smaller system of 37 panels, just over 15kWp, is on the rugby clubhouse roof.

The savings

Estimated CO2 savings work out at approx. 15.73 tonnes per year, with an annual estimated generation of 61,535 kWh, which will really help to power community wellbeing.

The reaction

The team at Bridport & West Dorset Sports Trust Ltd, and at the Centre itself, is really happy with the install and how the panels are looking.

The overall aim of the organisation is to enhance the quality of life for the community, and the solar install certainly contributes to the ongoing fulfilment of that aim – from a clean air and sustainability point of view.

Discover more about solar on Leisure Centres

  • Read about the Swimming Pool Support Fund in our blog.
  • Find out more about community energy and potential funding for your Leisure Centre project.
  • Read our Xcel Leisure Centre case study, for more about another public sector Leisure Centre installation.

Breaking new ground with Hammersmith & Fulham

The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) has been focusing on tackling travel, as part of its commitment to “contribute to a safe climate for current and future generations”. The Borough is aiming to become carbon net-zero by 2030 and road transport accounts for 16 per cent of local emissions.

To give residents the confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles, the council wanted to grow their EV charging infrastructure quickly. We were delighted to be awarded the contract to help them realise their ambition of installing 2,000 more on-street charge points by the end of 2022 and beyond that, a charge point on every street in the Borough, where possible.

H&F already had the highest density of charge points anywhere in the UK – but this new commitment certainly moved them up a gear!

New charge points, multi purpose

The lamp post chargers being installed for H&F offer an affordable and convenient charging solution for EV owners with no access to off-street charging facilities of their own. Every home or office is now within 400 metres of a charge point and as the council says, they have the lowest number of residents per available charger.

The charge points have a multi-purpose use in the borough too. Not only are they used by residents without off-street parking to charge their EV’s, the chargers can be used by market stall traders to power their stalls, instead of using generators. There is also an ice cream van in the borough, which can now turn off its diesel engine and plug in its fridges to a clean, quiet energy supply.

Financing the expansion

The new investment was made possible because of the council’s successful bid for central government funding, as well as additional funding through commercial partners, and we look forward to working with H&F to continue the roll-out of their charge points right across the borough.

The reaction

“It’s been great working with Joju Charging as we make Hammersmith & Fulham number one for electric vehicle chargers. Joju have a real understanding of what local authorities require and want.”

Dave Kiteley, Lead Electrical Engineer, Hammersmith & Fulham Team

“By providing the necessary EV infrastructure, we’re empowering residents to make more sustainable travel choices to improve their own health and well-being as well as local air quality.”

Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Discover more

Find out how on street charging has transformed Portsmouth

Read more about Joju Charging, here

Get in touch with us about your Public Sector EV Charging Infrastructure project

Excelling in reducing carbon – Xcel Leisure Centre

Elmbridge Borough Council has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and one of their key actions is to cut the carbon output from their buildings. To achieve this, we’ve worked with the council on a variety of projects including installing solar at Centres for the Community in Walton, Cobham, Claygate, Molesey, and Hersham. We’ve installed solar at Hersham Village Hall, and we’ve also created a solar car port at the Civic Centre in Esher.
Following this, we were delighted to be selected to design and install the solar array on the roof of the council-owned Xcel Leisure Complex in Walton-on-Thames as well.

The approach

Places Leisure run the Xcel Complex, The Sports Hub and Hurst Pool. It’s a vibrant space with swimming, gym, and climbing facilities on offer. There’s a sports hall, studio, squash courts, sauna and steam room, soft play area and café on site too, so of course it was essential that the Complex was open as normal throughout the installation. Our approach is always to make sure buildings stay open, and that was the case throughout the three-week install. When we did need to shut down the power, we worked out of hours so that normal opening hours for the Centre were not affected.

The kit, carbon reductions, and energy savings

Every leisure centre user brings their kit to the Complex and we were no different… although our kit was panels, a mounting system, and inverters, rather than exercise gear, sports shoes, and swimming costumes!

We installed 973 JA solar panels on the roof, using a Sun Fixings mounting system and Solis inverters – and the results have been fantastic. Since the system has been installed in May 2023, the electrical consumption on site has been reduced by over 36%, which will lead to an estimated CO2 saving of over 75 tonnes per year.

The reaction

Councillor David Young, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, said how thrilled he is that Elmbridge is another step closer to achieving its carbon neutral pledge:

“The installation of these solar panels and the reduction in electrical consumption at the Xcel Leisure Complex further reinforces our commitment to climate change. This shows that with collective commitment and determination, we can deliver on our pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030.”

Daniel Walker, Business Development Director at Places Leisure is a proud partner in the solar panel installation too:

“Working with Elmbridge, we are committed to improving the sustainability of the Xcel. Through the new partnership contract, both Places Leisure and Elmbridge Borough Council, will invest in more energy efficient infrastructure, including new heating systems, hydrogen ready boilers, LED lighting and electric car charging bays. Collectively we will provide more sustainable leisure facilities in Elmbridge.”

The Council team also commented on our working partnership:

“Joju have worked efficiently and collaboratively with all stakeholders involved in the project and they are always on hand to provide professional advice”.

Our Head of Commercial Solar, Edward Baughn, couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome too:

“We’re proud to have designed and installed the solar array on the Xcel, helping Elmbridge Borough Council reduce the carbon output on its buildings. We can’t wait to see more savings being made and supporting the Council with their overall sustainability ambitions”.

All in all, it’s great to know that solar energy is contributing to the operation of a Complex where members spend their own energy improving their health and wellbeing – and that the wellbeing of the whole area is being improved by the reduction in carbon.

Goals well and truly achieved!

Further information

Head here for more about rooftop solar

Discover more about our public sector work

Read more of our case studies

EV CHarging, Alfen, Fast Charger

Dorset Council’s greener travel at zero capital cost

In 2019, Dorset Council was looking to replace a handful of pre-existing rapid chargers and began an open conversation with us about what we could do to offer residents and businesses a cleaner, greener way to travel in Dorset.

The local authority wanted to take steps towards their ambition to become a carbon-neutral Council by 2040 at the latest, with the whole of the county being carbon neutral by 2050. They were also keen to accelerate several actions in their  Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy Action Plan and as part of this, we discussed more widespread electric vehicle charge points in public car parks, supporting the transition to electric vehicles.

Since then, their ambitions have rocketed and we have supported them every charge of the way!

 

Making it feasible

We have several funding approaches we offer, tailored to local authority requirements.

One of those is a fully funded installation and management solution for electric vehicle charge points in public sites, with our funding partners Mer. It’s a great way for local authorities to roll out EV charging infrastructure at zero capital cost and in this case, the first step for us was to carry out a large feasibility study across 115 public car park sites and several Council offices in Dorset.

During the process, full pricing and site designs were put together and we agreed, with Dorset Council, which sites to take forward.

 

Working together to go electric

After several months of planning, conversation and collaboration, we began installing ‘phase one’ of this landmark project, which covers 17 public car parks across the county including Blandford Forum, Dorchester, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Verwood, West Bay, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster.

The fast (22kW) charge points installed are supplied with 100% renewable energy and mean that drivers can charge their electric vehicles while visiting the county’s towns. A quick top-up (a charge of 15 minutes) enables a journey of about 15 miles, or a full charge will take 2-4 hours, depending on the vehicle. All charge points can be accessed through the Mer charging portal and app.

It’s been great working in partnership with the Dorset Council team to make this happen and as they say,

“Working with Joju is a pleasure. Their can-do attitude to problem-solving is refreshing and undoubtedly part of the reason why Dorset’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure programme has been such a success. They have a real understanding of how local authorities work and have demonstrated a genuine willingness to accommodate Dorset’s charging infrastructure needs, for the benefit of both residents and visitors”.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, also commented:

“Dorset has an important role to play in helping to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. The government plans to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, so it is important drivers are offered more sustainable travel options now.

We are grateful to Joju Charging and their partners for funding both the installation and management of this scheme and for their enthusiasm and hard work in getting us to this stage.”

 

More rapids, ultras and fasts

We’re excited to currently be rolling out Phase 2 of this project. It covers the install of electric vehicle charge points in approximately another 21 sites around the county and includes new rapid chargers, ultra fast rapids, and more fast chargers too.

Christopher Whitehouse, Transport Project Officer, Economic Growth and Infrastructure, Dorset Council commented:

Dorset Council is now in its fourth year of successfully working with Joju on the delivery of EV Charging Infrastructure, which has helped place the county in the top 20% of local authority areas for charge point availability. Dedication, focus on quality and value, a flexible approach to delivery and excellent customer service has made Joju an easy choice to be Dorset’s installer of choice”. 

The feedback is fantastic to hear.

 

Future installs in Dorset

Dorset Council has also recently been awarded funding through the government’s LEVI (Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) fund, and it is great to also hear that residents and visitors to Dorset are demanding more charge points.

Here’s to the further roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help Dorset move to a low-carbon future, and to make travelling in the county cleaner and greener.

 

Find Out More

On-street in Portsmouth

Portsmouth has narrow streets, limited off-street parking and many houses are without access to a driveway or garage to charge off-street. An air quality directive is also in place, a clean air zone has been introduced, and there is a real need to install charge points based on residential requests. Against that backdrop, it’s been brilliant to work with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) to deliver their on-street charging infrastructure, including Pay-As-You-Go streetlight charging, which is accessed via designated parking bays.

Defining installation locations

As the aim is to give residents the opportunity to charge vehicles outside their homes, consideration was given to which demographic groups were likely to switch to EVs first, and where they live. This was mapped against where the council team knew there was terraced housing, and combined with local knowledge, it created a picture of where the chargers should be installed.

Some residents had also requested charge points. They were interviewed by the Portsmouth team to establish whether there were any parking issues in their area, whether they currently owned an EV, or were planning to buy one, if they had any suggested locations, and what their views on payment expectations were. This engagement with residents has been crucial to the success of the charge point roll-out.

The perfect solution for Portsmouth

Turning to infrastructure, the best solution was to use the streetlight electricity supply, as it is lower cost and doesn’t take up additional space. Adding to the pre-existing 36 on-street chargers already across the city, we’ve installed a further 62 charge points. Nine are in-column chargers, but the majority are bollard chargers because many lamp columns are at the back of the pavement. Bollards are then positioned at the front of the footway but are slimline, so they don’t take up much-needed space.

Designated parking bays have also been created alongside charge points, as feedback from the survey process suggested there could be access issues without them.

PCC is also the first authority to have the combination of lamp columns, parking bays and a Pay-As-You-Go payment option, so together we’ve certainly been leading the on-street charge!

Funding the project and looking to the future

Over £200,000 of funding was secured through the Office for Zero Emissions (OZEV) On Street Residential Charge Point Scheme (ORCS), which allocated 75% of the cost for the infrastructure and installation for phases one and two. The remainder was council- funded.

The scheme has been very successful. It’s won a Transtech award for emobility, and as Councillor Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation puts it,

“We hope that the ability to charge outside your own home will be a great incentive to join the revolution and reduce emissions further”.

And it certainly has been. Resident, Martin Hoy, who uses the charge points says:

“We took a leap of faith buying an electric vehicle, and I wouldn’t go back. We’ve become a one car family with my wife and I sharing the car. When I don’t drive to work I cycle instead. I’ve also taken the car on longer journeys across the country and it’s been easy to use and charge on the go.”

Back in the city, the Portsmouth charge points are being very well used and with almost 200 further charge point requests, the council is looking to grow the network even further. We can’t wait to help them realise their ambitions.

Discover more

Read more case studies about our public sector work

Work in the public sector? Find out how we can help with your EV Infrastructure projects

Helping Hampshire schools go solar!

Hampshire County Council wanted to give as many schools as possible, the opportunity to have solar PV installed on their roofs, for free, as part of an ambitious programme to cut carbon emissions and running costs in public buildings across the county.

In response to the climate emergency and to contribute to net zero targets, schools would benefit from energy generated by the sun to become more energy efficient, and to cut their energy bills at the same time.

Funding the mission

The council received just over two million pounds of interest free funding from Salix Finance to facilitate this particular part of their programme, as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Salix offers grant funding on behalf of the Government for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from public sector buildings.

With the mission to create as many ‘solar schools’ as possible, the council carried out a tender process. At the end of 2020, they selected Joju to explore the installation of solar PV on 120 buildings, including a mix of primary and secondary schools. Our team was delighted to get to work to help the council realise their ambition.

Surveys and site installations

We spent several months surveying all the sites ourselves, creating designs, costing each project, and also arranging structural surveys. We gradually ruled out a proportion of the suggested sites because following survey, some of the roofs weren’t suitable for solar panels.

We were left with a remaining 90 sites and the installations began in May 2021. We worked on these over a 12-month period.

One of the key elements of the project was that there was a real mix of buildings and system sizes. A benchmark for primary schools was a relatively small system of around 10kW, and a 50kW benchmark size was set for secondary schools. There were also some large school sites of 115 kW. Additionally, we returned to some of the sites to increase the size of the solar PV system installed.

Due to the volume of sites involved in the project, we also recruited additional support into our teams to help deliver solar to the schools as efficiently as possible.

Solar savings

The solar PV over the 90 schools totals 2.1 MW of installed capacity, with a predicted annual generation of 1800 MWh of green electricity across the portfolio.  This is also predicted to save the buildings a combined 450 tonnes of Co2 per annum.

On average, the schools are using 80-90% of the energy generated and expected savings for the smallest sites are over £1,000 a year. The largest schools are predicted to save over £15,000 a year. These estimated figures were pre-energy price increases, meaning that savings will be even greater currently.

A positive impact

Councillor Jan Warwick, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, said:

“We are putting climate change at the heart of all we do and in this case, delivering both carbon and financial savings for Hampshire’s schools… what is great about this programme in particular is how it is making a positive impact in hundreds of school communities and helping pupils to learn more about this vital issue.”

We second that! The reward for us is not only reducing carbon emissions, but also the learning that undoubtedly comes from the installation of solar on schools – and we’re proud to be part of it.

Discover more