An aerial view of the new solar panels at Erwin Hymer Travelworld, Stafford
An aerial view of the new solar panels at Erwin Hymer Travelworld, Stafford. Image: Erwin Hymer Travelworld

Motorhome dealership Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld has installed a rooftop solar PV system to reduce its carbon emissions.

At its flagship sales centre in Creswell Park, Stafford, the dealer has installed 300 solar panels in partnership with ECO-1. The panels are expected to generate around 85,000kWh of electricity each year, around 8,000kWh of which will be fed back into the UK grid.

The company has already made major investments into decarbonising its operations, heating the site with a 100% renewable wood pellet burning system which uses 95% less CO2 per 1,000kWh of energy than gas heating.

Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld operations director Erik Baxendale commented: “The investment in solar energy aligns with our values to reduce our environmental footprint and act against the rising energy costs which have affected all companies in recent times.

“As a business with a proud heritage of stability and innovation, this is a long-term investment that will have a positive and sustainable impact on both our carbon footprint and overall utility costs for years to come.

“The installation of the panels comes after we invested in electric vehicle charging points for our colleagues and customers, with a fleet of electric company vehicles in place.”

Businesses seek the sun

Rising energy costs and growing pressure to decarbonise has pushed many UK businesses towards solar panels as a dual-purpose solution.

Bristan Group, a major manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom products, recently installed 1,666 solar panels at its head office in Tamworth, Staffordshire, which are expected to cover around 56% of the site’s power needs. Meanwhile, Marston’s brewing company has partnered with Nuvolt, a Welsh solar start-up, to install solar panels at its Cardiff headquarters capable of generating 87.73MWh of energy each year.

Private healthcare provider Spire Healthcare has also moved to implement solar, recently inking a £5.2 million contract with eEnergy, who will provide a solar PV system across 38 Spire Healthcare sites.

The public sector is also looking to solar to cut costs. In the latest phase of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which provided £530 million of government funding for energy efficiency upgrades, 84 projects received funding for solar panels. Ten of these were NHS trusts, including South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was granted £28 million to install solar panels and air source heat pumps at two of its hospitals. Schools and academies were also awarded millions for their own solar projects, as well as several district councils and London boroughs.