Liverpool drinks giant, Halewood International, has installed one of the region's largest solar arrays – a huge 250kWp array on the roof of its Huyton production plant. The company, which produces well-known brands such as Lambrini, Crabbies and Tsingtao, turned to Manchester-based renewable energy specialists, Reef Solutions, to design and install the solar power plant.

The solar installer was able to fit all 1,000 solar modules to the facility in less than three weeks. The company expects the array to produce over 200,000kWh of electricity every year – reducing the drinks company’s carbon footprint by over 100 tonnes.

The installation forms part of the company’s wider carbon reduction programme as it strives to improve its environmental credentials. The Huyton manufacturing plant already recycles around 85 percent of all its waste materials as well employing sensory lighting to help minimise wasted electricity.  

Terry Crawford from Reef Solutions, said: “Companies with large manufacturing facilities like Halewood can really benefit from solar energy: not only do they have the roof space to accommodate the installation but, with the rising cost of energy, converting part of their energy requirements to renewables also reduces overheads and mitigates the risk of future energy price rises.

“This installation has an estimated payback period of just six years, after which energy savings and feed in tariff revenues will become an income stream for the company so there will be clear financial and environmental benefits.”

Reef Solutions estimates that the total benefit of the solar system for Halewood will be in the region of £40,000 in year one. However, Halewood view the investment as more than just good business sense. Lucy Dixon from Halewood: “The business case for the capital expenditure involved in this project is clear but our strategy is driven by long-term sustainability goals for the company.

“Enhancing environmental performance is part of responsible manufacturing and that sits at the heart of our brand and our reputation. Reef Solutions’s expertise is helping us select the technologies that will genuinely help us achieve our carbon reduction objectives and we will continue to pursue those objectives as an integral part of our commercial strategy.”