Bentley Motors is installing the UK’s largest roof mounted solar panel system. Over 20,000 solar panels with a capacity of 5MW are being fixed to the roof of Bentley’s factory in Crewe, making use of 3.45 hectares of roof space which would otherwise be unutilised. The array will generate enough energy to power over 1,200 households and is three times more powerful than the current largest roof-mounted system in the UK.
The installation will be owned and operated by Lightsource Renewable Energy, the UK’s leading solar energy generator. Locally generated clean energy is then supplied to Bentley via a Power Purchase Agreement.
It is anticipated that at peak generation times, the system will produce up to 40% of Bentley’s energy requirements and reduce CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year.
Michael Straughan, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing, comments: “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 inCreweare efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.”
Bentley’s site in Crewe is already one of the UK’s most sustainable automotive plants, having been one of the first to secure ISO 50001.
Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource, says: “The installation on Bentley’s factory demonstrates the tremendous potential for solar energy in the UK and is a fantastic example of how businesses can gain greater pricing certainty for the future whilst reducing their carbon footprint. It is also remarkable what can be achieved in a short space of time and with no adverse impact on existing business activity.”