In this IIL property webinar, Paul Carpenter talks about the greening of existing buildings with rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays and the potential hazards these may introduce from a property risk management perspective.
With energy costs in the UK continuing to increase, the UK is seeing steady growth in the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar. Not only are we seeing the installation of ground-based PV solar farms but also the retrofitting of PV solar arrays to existing buildings. While PV solar provides a source of carbon-free electricity, retrofitting can introduce additional challenges to existing buildings including the potential increased risk of fire, concerns over reliability of fire protection systems, and increased exposure to catastrophic events.
Some installations are also being co-located with battery energy storage systems and there are instances where retrofits are undertaken without prior knowledge of insurers. Equipment may also be owned and operated by third parties under a contractual arrangement over which there can be limited control and oversight. There is often internal pressure to install PV solar as an additional revenue stream without adequate consideration of risk management measures that need to be adopted. This can result in increased costs not factored in and lead to costly rectifications to meet insurer requirements.