Step-By-Step Guide to Installing a Solar Canopy

Posted by Admin

Discover the stages involved in installing a solar canopy and how it can benefit your property.

Initial Enquiry

The first stage of installing a solar canopy is making an initial enquiry. This is when you reach out to a supplier to find out the cost of potentially installing a solar canopy at your property.

Once you receive the costings and review them, you can decide whether to proceed with the installation or not. If you choose to go ahead, the next step is a site visit.

Image 6-2


Site Visit

During the site visit, the supplier will take measurements of the area where the canopy will be installed. They will also check the access to the area, levels, services in the ground and proposed orientation to ensure that no shadows will fall on the canopy.

Additionally, they will inspect the fusebox to determine what electrical connections will be required for the installation. Based on these findings, we along with our electricians will put together the final design and submit it to you for approval.

Planning and DNO applications

It's worth noting that if DNO (Distribution Network Operator) applications and planning applications are required, these can take approximately 8-12 weeks to approve.

Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are responsible for the distribution of electricity from the national grid to your home or business. The local DNO must give permission to install a solar panel array over a certain size, after they have checked the local grid infrastructure will be adequate for the power the new solar panels will produce. 

DNO applications may be necessary if you plan to sell part of the electricity your solar canopy produces back to the grid.

Image 9.1

Design Stage

The design stage is a crucial step in the installation process of a solar canopy. During this stage, we finalise the canopy design based on the approved specifications. The canopy is designed to be structurally able to bear the weight of the solar panels in addition to the standard loadings.

At this point, the supplier also submits any necessary planning applications if required.

Once the design is agreed and all necessary applications have been submitted and approved, we begin manufacturing the canopy.


When manufacturing is nearly complete, we get in touch to arrange a mutually convenient time to begin the installation. Unless you can completely fence off the area, it's generally easier and safer to complete at least the groundworks during a school holiday.

We arrive on site, securely fence off the working area and commence the groundworks.  This includes any trenches for the cabling, if required.

Once the groundwork is complete, the canopy is installed as a normal canopy would be. Some clients may choose to install the canopy only at this stage and retrofit solar panels later.

After the canopy is installed, the rails and solar panels are fixed on top, and connected to the inverter. This ensures that the solar canopy is ready to start generating electricity.


The commissioning stage is the final step in the installation process of a solar canopy. During this stage, the solar installation is completed and connected to the property's main supply. If a battery is included in the project, it will be connected at the same time. The installation is thoroughly tested, and any snags or issues are resolved. Once everything is in working order, the ground is resurfaced.

At this point, your solar canopy is complete and ready to start generating electricity.

Image 3.1

Case Study: Three Peaks Academy

Three Peaks Academy in Tamworth recently installed a solar canopy to help them reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions.

With 50 solar panels generating over 16,000 kWh per year, the school can benefit from reduced energy bills, freeing up funding for investment elsewhere.

Not only are they saving money on energy, but the new solar panel canopy is also reducing the school's carbon emissions, saving over three tonnes per year.

This case study serves as an example of how solar canopies can be successfully implemented in educational institutions, showcasing the positive impact they can have on both finances and sustainability.

Looking to Install A Solar Canopy?

A solar canopy represents a sound investment for schools, allowing schools to maximise covered outdoor space while also reducing their energy bills and cutting carbon emissions.

It also offers flexibility; schools or colleges can choose to install only the canopy to begin with, and add solar panels as funds allow.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and service. We'll look after every aspect of your project from initial concept design to obtaining permits, installation and final commissioning for your peace of mind. 

Get in touch to find out more about our solar canopies and how they can help your school.