The Met Office has awarded the contract to design and install a 250kWp solar PV array at its Exeter-based HQ to local installer, Sun Gift solar. 

The array, which will become one of the largest roof-top solar installations in the UK, will span the Met Office’s 150 metre-long Energy Centre. The system will be comprised of 1,000 solar modules and is set to generate enough green energy to meet the demand from one of the Met Office’s powerful new supercomputers.

Work has already started work on the system, which is due to be completed next month.

“The Met Office is a world leader in weather and climate services, so it’s great news we were chosen from the tender process to carry out this prestigious job,” said Gareth Walton, Business Development Manager of Sun Gift. “Our emphasis has always been on providing bespoke solutions that are at the cutting edge of technology, so we’re proud of the fact that our high level of technical knowledge and experience has been recognised.”

The renewable company estimates that the 250kWp array will generate 221,000 kWh per year – enough to power the equivalent of 67 houses – and will save about 116 tonnes of C02 per year.  The system will be linked to the Met Office’s sophisticated Electricity Management System, enabling up-to-the-minute monitoring of the panels’ performance.

Walton added: “Despite being up against a number of much larger companies, we demonstrated exceptional technical knowledge and understanding to design the best system to meet the Met Office’s requirements.”

Peter Clayton-White, Building Services Engineer at the Met Office, said: “On a sunny day this array will generate enough energy to run one of our three supercomputers on sunshine, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our energy supply. We hope to have a display in our reception so everyone can see how much energy the array is generating at any one time and how much is going to the supercomputer.”