The largest chain of bakeries in the UK has installed the equivalent of 1.28 megawatts (MW) of solar PV capacity on the roofs of 10 of its locations with the assistance of Solar Choice’s UK branch, Solar Selections, who acted as tender manager for the project. The installations make use of Italian Power-One Aurora inverters and Chinese Trina solar panels.
The company cited 3 reasons for its decision to go solar: To reduce its carbon emissions, to save money on power bills and to take advantage of the UK’s solar feed-in tariff. The systems will help the chains to reduce their carbon footprint by around 25% by 2015, or about 600 tonnes per year. The panels have been deployed in order to generate some of the power required by the ovens used to bake the company’s bread. The company will also be implementing energy efficiency measures to make sure that the 25% reduction goal is met.
Following their initial investigations into the market to find the best approach to their endeavours, Greggs teamed up with Solar Selections to find the most appropriate installation partner for the systems. This process utilised the unique software at Solar Selections’ disposal: the Commercial Tender Management Platform developed by Solar Choice Australia.
Dedicated commercial broker for the project, Tom Charlesworth, then guided Greggs through an extensive analysis of installation options from the Solar Selections installer network before a decision on an appropriate partner and finance method was made. This finance arrangement was bespoke and allowed Greggs to minimise risk and outlay whilst maintaining an ongoing comprehensive maintenance relationship with the installation partner.
‘This solution has been justifiably heralded as one of the most effective commercial rooftop installations in the UK,” said Jarrah Harburn, director of Solar Selections. “Greggs had a strict set of criteria that needed to be met not only from a technical and financial standpoint, but from an installation and ongoing management perspective as well.”
‘The fact that these 10 installations have now won and been nominated for several industry awards speaks volumes for the job that was delivered by Solar Selections and the chosen installation partner.” Mr Harburn also acknowledged the Greggs Board and Renewables Team for having the enthusiasm to undertake and see through such a fantastic achievement.
In an interview with the Guardian, Greggs’ social responsibility manager Stephen Weldon noted that in addition to the tangible benefits that the systems would provide, they would also add to the chain’s reputation as a forward-thinking company doing the right thing for the environment. “As a responsible business, we have a duty to manage our energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient in our bakery and retail operations,” he said.
“The installation of PV panels on our bakery roofs provided the perfect opportunity to make use of a previously unused [roof space], take advantage of the government’s feed-in tariff scheme and generate carbon-neutral electricity for use in the bakeries, and, therefore, reduce the amount of fossil fuel we need to buy and consume,” Mr Weldon said.
Top image via SolarNovus
© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd