DIY Photovoltaique


(Peter Whitfield) #1

Hi, Has anybody installed photovoltaique panels (to supply the grid) themselves? Is it possible to do that, and get the EDF (or the ERDF) to check the installation, and join you up?


(Brian Milne) #2

Not us but some good French friends, but in their case the main house was already done by a contractor and joined to EDF. The 'guest house' has been done together with an electrician friend who knows the entire technology and is selfstanding, which they would eventually like the main house to be. By doing it themselves, the husband bought the panels, inverter and storage cells whilst in Germany far cheaper than here in France or importing them. The actual assembly and mounting is easy according to him, the electrician was because he is not one himself so better safe than sorry, although using a friend meant free. Their system produces 10kw and they have put in a main fusebox that is wired back to the main house where they have a 'parallel' circuit running alongside the EDF one. They use enough of the EDF power to not attract attention to themselves, very little actually, and are now just over two years in doing that and have an electricity bill most of dream of plus the income from EDF for selling the power they generate.

It is actually quite legal to have a selfstanding system but somehow EDF/ERDF get involved in the planning business and seem to have some means of blocking or delaying it, which is why they have done it the way they have and their application for permission to be fully independent in as of early this summer. So I have no idea there how long they might be waiting.