Solar Power part 3

Ownership

There are generally two possibilities regarding ownership in PV projects:

– The energy utility owns the installation.

– The owner or occupier of the building owns the PV installation.

An intermediate form is also possible, where the owner of the building hires or leases the installation from the energy company.

Ownership by the energy utility

An agreement is generally signed between the building owner/occupier and the energy utility. The latter has certain rights regarding the roof of the building. Specific attention points include:

– Accessibility of the installation for maintenance and study purposes.

– Damage to the rest of the building, caused by the PV installation.

– Damage to the PV installation.

– What happens if the energy utility wishes to remove the installation?

– What happens if the energy utility wishes to transfer the installation to the owner/occupier?

The purchase or hire agreement should also include a number of conditions, e.g.:

– The owner/occupier may not damage the PV installation.

– The owner/occupier may not cause shadow to fall on the PV installation, through trees, plants or extensions to the property.

– The owner/occupier should allow reasonable access to the installation for maintenance and study purposes. If required, gardens may be used to place ladders, in order to gain access to the roof.

Ownership by the owner/occupier of the house (or building)

This is an option whereby the PV system is installed per house, and the energy produced is used by the owner/occupier. The owner/occupier signs an agreement with the energy utility to supply any excess electricity to the national grid. In many cases the owner/occupier will be allowed to supply the electricity at the small-user tariff.

Management

Managing the installations can also occur in two ways: either by the owner/occupier or by the energy utility. It is advisable to fit the inverters in these installations with error messaging, so that the owner/occupier can easily monitor the functioning of the installation. To encourage owner/occupiers to intervene when an error occurs, it is recommended that a long-term maintenance contract be signed as soon as the installation