Hampstead School

Solar PV • PUNL-owned • Completed March 2020

About

Hampstead School was founded as a secondary modern in 1961 and incorporated Harben Secondary Modern School in Netherwood Street, Kilburn, before becoming a comprehensive. The School is based in the London Borough of Camden and has about 1,300 students between the ages of 11 and 19 attending the Lower School and the Sixth Form College.

Funding & delivery

Hampstead School was one of the sites proposed by Camden Council for installation of solar panels. PUNL raised £5,900 from the London Community Energy Fund to undertake feasibility work on this site. The selected roof was surveyed and was found suitable for the installation of a 48 kWp solar PV array. PUNL also had extensive discussions with Camden Council around the legal arrangements and agreed a 20-year roof licence.  Following a successful feasibility review PUNL launched a share offer to raise £46,000 for purchase and installation of the panels. The offer was oversubscribed and closed before the deadline of 31 January 2020. The installation was completed in February and the site is generating well with an estimated annual output of 43MWh. 

Benefits & impact

Hampstead School view this project as an opportunity to educate pupils on the environment and renewables. They will benefit from the purchase of discounted solar electricity from PUNL for the first 20 years and from free electricity from the array thereafter. Carbon savings of 10 tonnes a year will be generated, equivalent to carbon sequestered by 4.5 acres of new forest, benefiting the students, staff and local residents. 

PUNL will put any surplus after paying for running costs towards a community energy fund that can be used to invest in other community renewables initiatives. This will help to build resilience of the local community in tackling climate change.

Camden Council view this as an important project in partnering with community organisations to turn their climate emergency declaration into action.

Project deliverables

Planning permissionPermission was not required as the installation fell under the permitted development category
EPC certificateAlready in place – D-rated
DNOThe District Network Operator (UKPN) approved the connection in November 2018
Structural surveyThe roof structural survey was conducted in November 2019 and concluded that the roof had sufficient strength to take the additional load from the solar panels
On-site demand Consumption at the school is high and it was expected to use 90% of the solar electricity generated 
Feed-in tariff/PPAThe site is registered for the feed-in tariff.  As there is an existing, non-FIT-registered array at the school, exports to the grid will be sold via a PPA contract.
Share offerPUNL launched a successful community share offer in December 2019 and raised the required £46,000 for capital and installation costs before 31 January
InstallationJoju Solar installed the panels and the project was completed in late March 2020. As of the first week of June 2020, the panels had produced 18.5 MWh of electricity.