Lightsource announces ‘UK’s largest’ rooftop PV array

Lightsource has announced the development of what it says is the country’s largest rooftop solar PV array, with an installed capacity of 5MWp.

The 20,000 solar panel installation is on the roof of Bentley Motor’s factory in Crewe, making use of 3.45 hectares of roof space, whilst the array is designed to generate enough energy to power over 1,200 households.

It is anticipated that at peak generation times, the system will produce up to 40 percent of Bentley’s energy requirements and reduce CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year. With a two way connection, during the summer, weekends and shutdown periods excess energy generated can be fed back into the National Grid.

Nick Boyle, ceo of Lightsource, said: “The installation on Bentley Motor’s factory demonstrates the tremendous potential the UK’s rooftops have for harnessing the power of the sun.

“With greater policy stability, the UK’s solar market is set to go from strength-to-strength this year. Projects such as the Bentley Motor’s rooftop array demonstrate the benefits to both companies and individuals for reducing their environmental impact and achieving a real return on investment.”

Michael Straughan, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing, added: “Unlikely as it may seem our 1940s plant in Crewe is ideally situated to generate solar power as the ‘saw tooth’ factory roofs are south facing at an angle of 20 degrees.

“We take the sustainability of our products and factory extremely seriously and we are always looking for ways to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. The panels will reduce our energy costs and help ensure that our manufacturing operations in Crewe are efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.”