Dorset-based tea manufacturer Clipper Teas has installed an 89kW solar array on its factory roof in Beaminster.

The 342-module strong array will help power Clipper’s production line which processes and packages the company’s range of teas. It is predicted that the solar installation will help cut the company’s carbon footprint by 3.7 tonnes of CO2 every year it operates.

The solar array was facilitated by renewable company, Hive Energy who surveyed and designed the system, the company will also maintain the system. The array was installed by local solar company, Engenius Renewables and was connected and generating energy within four weeks.

The solar array on Clipper Teas’ factory cost the company nothing, with the tea manufacturer signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hive Energy that will see the company purchase the electricity generated from its roof for a reduced cost. Hive Energy recoups its investment through the associated feed-in tariff payments from the government.

Commenting on the new array, Clipper Teas’ production manager Tim Wallis said: “As a fairtrade company committed to offering customers a sustainably sourced product, it’s really important that we’re environmentally-conscious too. Hive Energy’s new solar panels are helping to power our production line, and mean we’re also making an excellent saving on energy from more traditional sources.

“Since Hive Energy installed the scheme, our overall energy costs have reduced significantly. This means that in addition to offsetting harmful carbon emissions, our production costs are more predictable and cost-effective.”

Hive Energy’s commercial director, Tim Purbrick, added that rooftop solar is beginning to gain more traction from ethically-conscious companies. He said: “The next time customers have a Clipper tea, they can enjoy it even more knowing that the power of the sun helped to produce it.

“We’ve seen a real surge at the moment in environmentally aware companies like Clipper Teas wanting to use solar energy to power their business. It not only makes them greener but is also a cheaper, more resilient source of energy. This has got to be good for the environment and for British businesses too.”