BRE in partnership with Cornwall Council, has created an innovative proposal to establish a National Solar Centre in Cornwall that will drive the future development of the PV industry and give confidence to end users and generate economic growth in the region. This proposal reflects the commitment to solar PV demonstrated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in particular the continuation of the feed in tariff and acknowledgement that solar has a role in our future energy mix.
Working with the established solar industry, the centre will collect data and evidence from a range of MCS and FITs related PV installations from across the country. This new body of knowledge will be used to optimise the long term performance of PV technologies create best quality assurance, design advice, product knowledge and technical standards provide a code of practice for construction and solar industries support Building Integrated PV market development create a hub of solar expertise that will enable the sector to perform to its highest potential.
"We are currently applying for European Regional Development Convergence funding to establish the centre. If our bid is successful we will create a fantastic project that will act as a catalyst for green growth producing long term economic and environmental benefits not only for Cornwall and the South West, but for the UK" says Nick Tune, the BRE Director who is leading on the project.
The EDRF Convergence programme is an EU investment initiative that aims to improve the conditions for growth and development in the least-developed regions of the European Union. It awarded funding in excess of £450m to Cornwalland the Isles of Scilly for the period 2007-2013.
Cllr Julian German, Cornwall Council's Portfolio Holder for Localism, Sustainability and Devolution, said ' We are delighted that BRE's proposal has received the backing of Government and others, but it is imperative that we secure the investment funds through the EDRF Convergence scheme before the centre can move forward. As a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors and a Leadership in Energy Action and Planning region, we understand the need to translate good words into better actions. Cornwall Council will actively play its role in supporting the proposed creation of a National Solar Centre in Cornwall."
The National Solar Centre would be delivered as part of a broader initiative to establish the St Austell area of mid-Cornwall, as a hub for the development and manufacture of low carbon technologies and products.