A large-scale project to install solar panels across eight of its key UK sites was completed by npower between April – July 2012.
Approximately 200 photovoltaic panels, which generate a total of 50kW of electricity, were installed at each site by npower’s Business Energy Services division, while battling the wet and windy weather this summer. The installations ensure that the range of buildings, from one of npower’s power stations at Little Barford in St Neots, to one of its main call centres in Houghton-le-Spring, just outside Sunderland, will benefit from reduced carbon emissions.
As solar PV is an ideal renewable energy technology for most buildings, it suited the npower premises which differed in age and location types from urban to rural surroundings and featured varying roof styles.
The new technology will help npower achieve its target of reducing the carbon emissions from its offices by 38% by 2014. It will also allow npower to generate electricity during daylight hours and export any that is unused back to the Grid, thereby saving both energy and costs. The solar PV is already having an impact on the amount of electricity the offices are taking from the Grid for power. Birch House, an npower office in Oldbury in the West Midlands, which houses around 500 employees has already seen a 16% reduction in power used from the Grid when compared to the previous year thanks to the solar PV and other measures implemented across the site.
The installation of solar PV technology is part of the company’s wider commitment toenergy efficiency. Other measures have included the installation of energy efficient air conditioning units, motion sensor lighting and new recycling facilities.
Dave Horton, property sustainability and capital investment manager from npower, commented: “npower is committed to reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of our sites. This project is designed to help us meet these aims. It is great to see the significant results achieved already at Birch House and across our other sites.
“The comprehensive planning that went into the project was really important to make sure it was completed on time and as efficiently as possible. It was particularly essential as not only did we have to install the solar PV on a variety of buildings and roof styles, we also had to contend with all the elements the great British summer weather threw at us. The project was completed swiftly in less than two weeks and it was crucial disruption was kept to a minimum as the sites were fully operational throughout.”