Solar-powered business park a UK first

January 31, 2012 by Tania Pickstone  
Filed under Technology

The Howbery Business Park in Wallingford, Oxfordshire is claiming to be the UK’s first solar-powered business park. Powered by a ground-mounted solar array consisting of 3,000 solar panels, the site was connected to the National Grid today.

The installation is 748kWp in size and was developed by HR Wallingford and Lightsource Renewable Energy. It is one of the first large scale ground-mounted systems of its kind to be connected to the National Grid under the Government’s feed-in tariff scheme. It is expected to generate more than 682MWh of clean electricity annually.

Solar photovoltaic panels will provide the power for more than 25% of the site, allowing them to cut their CO2 emissions by over 350 tonnes a year. Octopus Investments and a local private investor named Andrew Troup provided financial backing, whilst construction, engineering and procurement were handled by Solarcentury – a company with experience building similar parks in Europe.

According to John Ormston, Chief Executive at HR Wallingford, Howberry Business Park has always had a green approach. He said “with two highly sustainable, BREEAM Excellent rated office buildings and an operational Green Travel Plan, we are committed to leading the way in renewable energy and are proud to be showcasing the UK’s first solar business park.” It will join a small community of business parks in the UK where tenants are able to get electricity directly from a solar array.

With the Government proposing to make substantial cuts to the feed-in tariff scheme, supporters of this project are eager to hold it up as an example of the potential of solar power as a key component of a cleaner energy future. Solar is the fastest-growing energy technology in the world, and it would clearly be a mistake to dismiss its importance as we confront the challenges that will define the future of life on Earth.

Find out more about solar PV installation for your home, and speak to free solar panel installers today.

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