Llanelli Scarlets to double stadium rooftop installation size

Welsh regional rugby union team Llanelli Scarlets is to double the size of the rooftop solar installation at its Parc y Starlets stadium facility.

Last year the club teamed with installers Dragon Energy Solutions fitted a 250kWp solar array to the roof of its indoor training facility, which lies adjacent to the stadium in Llanelli, south Wales.

A total of 1,000 panels were fitted and the array performed above expectations, generating 252,000kWh of electricity in its first year. Now the club is aiming to almost double its solar commitment with a separate installation on the roof of one of the stadium’s stands.

An additional 800 panels will be fitted, taking the facility’s total generation capacity to 450kWp and reinforcing its status as the largest solar installation fitted to a sporting venue.

Jon Daniels, general manager of Parc y Scarlets, said that the project made sense “on many levels” given the “very appealing” return on investment and strong environmental credentials possessing a solar installation can provide.

“Since the first installation our aim has been to make ourselves a prime example of energy efficiency and to become more environmentally friendly. Dragon Energy has already successfully installed 1,000 solar panels that have really helped reduce our carbon emissions and made us more environmentally friendly.

“The panels are generating more than the expected already and the further 800 panels are expected to do the same,” he said.

Dragon Energy Solutions director Jason Oakley said that the first installation had been so successful that Llanelli Scarlets intended to finance the added capacity themselves, rather than source third-party financing as they did for the initial installation.

He added: “The fact is that they were so delighted with the results of the first installation, which has exceeded expectations after generating 12 months’ worth of data that they decided to extend it. They had the infrastructure available to do that and they could see it makes commercial sense.”

Despite the obvious advantages, solar installations on sporting venues is relatively undersubscribed. Barnsley Football Club and Northampton Saints Rugby Club are two notable exceptions, while the Portsmouth-based home of Ben Aisnley Racing will also derive the majority of its energy demand from a rooftop solar array once completed in October this year.