Why Anthony Showell added solar PV and battery storage to his forward-thinking family new-build…

Having enjoyed the benefits of home solar energy for a decade, Anthony Showell and his family doubled their renewables investment in their home new-build – adding twice as many panels and Tesla battery storage, too.

Our story starts back in 2010, when Anthony employed Mole Energy to install a 4kW array on the roof of his Devon home.

“Luckily, we got in very early with PV,” says Anthony, “that meant we could take advantage of the top feed-in-tariff contribution. Effectively, we’ve had free electricity for ten years. By the time that we left our most recent home our feed-in-tariff was worth around £1,700 a year, which more than covered the cost of electricity in a big, windy, old Victorian house.”

New solar owners cannot take advantage of the same fixed rates as Anthony’s family previously – the feed-in tariff having closed in April 2019. But that didn’t stop Anthony from making solar PV an integral part of his new home.

A new solar PV system

In April 2019, Anthony finished construction of Dart House in Devon – a striking, impressive contrast to the site of his first solar panels. “Dart House is a Passivhaus,” says Anthony; “That means the building has no need for heating, being airtight and designed to retain warmth. We’ve also chosen to install 8.9 kW of solar PV on our roof, and a Tesla battery on our wall.”

“I think we got a bit caught up in trying to do our bit for the environment,” says Anthony, “which is why we built a Passivhaus with no cement, no steel and no bricks. We’ve been so pleased with the 4kW array that was put up by Mole Energy ten years ago that we got permission to put up double that amount on this new house.”

Mole Energy was the natural choice for Anthony’s new PV system. “We like the company and the characters, and the fact that Mole Energy has weathered the storm that’s gone on in the solar industry when many other contractors went out of business. We’ve always found their service to be extremely good and they’ve delivered on detailed things like cleaning the panels once a year.”

Powerful results

Anthony is pleased with his choice to install a new generation of panels. “We’ve generated 64% of all the energy we’ve needed in our first month of occupation, which has seen a mixture of sun, rain and cloud. That’s pretty good.”

These results have been made even better with the Tesla battery storage system. “45% of our power in the last month has come from solar, and 19% from our Tesla Powerwall 2.0. On some days this combined capacity rises to 100%; on others, we achieve 30–40%.”

Capable of storing up to 13.5kWh of power – enough to power the average family home all day – Tesla battery technology ensures Anthony’s solar PV system responds quickly to changes in weather and energy consumption within his home. This makes it possible to take advantage of both, to store as much power as possible.

The Tesla Powerwall

“The Tesla battery fills up very quickly,” says Anthony. “When visitors arrive in the morning the Powerwall might be empty, having kept the house going overnight. In the time it takes to have a cup of tea, the battery can go from 35% to 45% charged. That’s 10% in 10 minutes, which is very quick. I’m even considering adding a second or even a third battery in the future.”

The solar world has changed dramatically since Anthony installed his first system in 2010. Find out how high-quality panels and breakthrough battery storage can help make your home cheaper and more efficient to run on 01803 732 946 or [email protected]