Azur Solar initially approached Staples about installing a bespoke solar PV solution and ultimately arranged for this £1.5 million project to be delivered using third party investment funding. It then managed all aspects of the planning and installation on the project which took approximately two weeks to complete. 2016 x Azur 230-3 modules were installed on the roof using A frames to maximise efficiency, and these are coupled to 24 x Diehl Acko 19000TLD Platinum inverters.
Over the next 25 years, the project is expected to save around 5000 net tons of carbon plus deliver approximately a million pounds in savings. The overall roof, which is in three sections, covers almost 2.5 hectares, of which the modules cover 2/3rds of the roof over 9000m² - so with the current modules installed it will generate sufficient power to meet approximately 75% of the buildings day-time electricity requirements, equivalent to around 125 homes each year.
“Funding the project ourselves was not an option but we still saw great potential in establishing a PV solar solution, utilising our roof space to generate electricity and in doing so effectively future-proofing the business against fluctuating electricity prices was the next best option,” explained Neil Harris, Property and Estates Manager at Staples. “This means that we are still doing our bit to protect the environment plus we benefit from using environmentally produced electricity and are proud to make an additional 5000 net tons of reductions in CO2 emissions against the business. We also plan to use some of the financial return to fund smaller environmental projects within Staples.”
“This cost effective third party investment solution is effectively a free installation for Staples but it was still important that we delivered a quality, high performance solution within a tight deadline, even given the other projects we were simultaneously delivering,” explained Robert Markus Feldmann, Managing Director for Azur Solar Systems Ltd. “By connecting before the August deadline this project benefits from the higher Feed-In Tariff, however the reduced new rates going forward, coupled with improved economies of scale which reduce overall solution costs, means that solar PV continues to deliver both effective economic and environmental benefits. We hope that this installation, like many of the others we have recently completed, will encourage other businesses and homeowners throughout the county to think about renewable energy and we are currently gearing up to meet expected demand.”
Corby Borough Council's Lead Member for Environment, Cllr Peter McEwan, said: “The Council is fully behind any sustainable projects that have positive impacts on the environment so we are very pleased to see local businesses taking the imitative to cut their carbon dioxide emissions through technology such as solar panels. This is a huge project and clearly highlights the financial benefits as well as the environmental benefits of such a scheme.”
“Thanks to the open, honest and proactive help from E.ON, Western Power Distribution and Corby Borough Council’s staff including their planning and building control departments that helped facilitate this significant clean renewable energy development within the very tight timescale available” comments James Bolton, Commercial Project Manager at Azur Solar Systems Ltd.