Stark Case Study_Primrose Solar

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“Stark’s reliable metering and near real-time data collection services are essential for the effective management of our solar farms.  The data tells us precisely how much energy each site generates, helping us drive growth and profitability.”

Nicola Waters, Chief Operating Officer, Primrose Solar

Background

Primrose Solar owns and operates large-scale solar PV farms throughout the UK, supplying an estimated annual output of 191,690MWh of electricity to 55,570 homes. This equates to an annual COreduction of 85,300 tonnes.  Primrose strives to have a positive environmental impact through generating renewable energy and protecting the biodiversity of each site.


Challenge

It is critical that Solar PV sites promptly receive accreditation from Ofgem, enabling them to claim solar subsidies such as ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates). For a site to become accredited it must pass the necessary commissioning tests and generate renewable electricity. In order to forecast demand and balance settlement correctly, Primrose requires data that is of the highest accuracy and as close to real-time as possible.


Solution

In early 2014, Stark was engaged by Primrose to provide industry leading, near real-time data collection and metering services so that each solar farm can gain accreditation without delay and start generating renewable electricity as soon as it is energised. Our solution provides dependable production data, this translates into income for Primrose when the electricity is sold.

Primrose Solar Wind Turbine

Results

Energising Wilton Solar Farm, a 9.5MW capacity site, was a challenge for both companies as multiple stakeholders were involved during construction. Stark ensured Primrose met Ofgem’s 31st March 2015 Renewable Obligation deadline by deploying an engineer on site during the days leading up to energisation in order to guarantee meter connection shortly after the final commissioning tests were completed.

Stark now collects near real time data for all Primrose sites, which have a total combined capacity of 183MW. The near real time data and 24 hr meter maintenance supplied by Stark is vital to the ongoing success of Primrose’s generation activities. With the meters taken care of, Primrose can concentrate on its environmental goal of improving the ecology of its sites through habitat management plans.


Future

Building a long term relationship

Through using SavenergyOnline, Primrose is able to visualise and analyse its data every in near real time, every 30 minutes (NRT30). Reassured by the quality and reliability of this near real-time data, Primrose trusts the expertise and support provided by Stark. Due to Primrose’s unique requirements, Stark created an “enhanced” service offering that guarantees around the clock meter engineer availability. This enabled both organisations to pre-empt problems, manage risk and minimise downtime.  This innovative approach helps Primrose drive change in solar PV industry standards.