A solar array consisting of over 7,000 solar panels is currently being constructed. Image: Centrica Business Solutions
A solar array consisting of over 7,000 solar panels is currently being constructed. Image: Centrica Business Solutions

Energy company Centrica Business Solutions is set to agree a solar-based power purchase agreement (PPA) with Smart Architectural Aluminium.

Centrica has already started construction on the 2.94MW solar installation located on the rooftops of three buildings at the manufacturing site in Yatton, a village located to the south west of Bristol.

Annually, Centrica will provide Smart Architectural Aluminium with 2.7GWh of renewable energy over a 25-year period. This means around 20% of the site’s current energy requirement will be supplied via the new solar array, which will consist of over 7,000 solar panels.

A long-term lease agreement has been secured for the solar project. This will see Centrica lease the roof space, finance the project and agree a PPA for the on-site energy generation.

Centrica confirmed that the solar array is anticipated to be completed in spring 2024.

Dean Thomas, managing director at Smart Architectural Aluminium, said: “We’re excited to be working alongside Centrica to facilitate a significant portion of our energy demand from the roofs over our heads.

“Our net zero ambitions are at the heart of our growth strategy, and once construction is complete it will be great to know that a huge proportion of our future energy use will be both carbon neutral and affordable.”

In mid-February 2023, Centrica and Greece-headquartered Mytilineos signed a corporate PPA with telecommunications giant Vodafone UK.

The deal covers generation from five sites with a total capacity of 232MW, located in Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset. In total, the sites are expected to generate 216GWh of electricity once operational.

Commenting on the agreement with Smart Architectural Aluminium, Justin Jacober, managing director at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The project with Smart Architectural Aluminium represents one of our largest roof top solar arrays to date and we’re delighted to help them to meet their decarbonisation ambition.

“We want to continue supporting organisations with their sustainability challenges, this in turn creates more resilient businesses that can stand the test of time as well as reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels – accelerating our journey towards net zero.

“To be able to finance this deal in a zero-capital way, is an incredibly attractive package for many businesses, who are wrestling with the balance between planet and profit, our message is you don’t need to make it a binary choice, you can do both.”