US company Solar Alliance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Empire Cinemas. The project will ultimately generate 2.8MW on the cinema sites, helping the company lower its carbon emission.
The companies will complete site design and financial modeling for each of the 14 potential cinema sites, and then negotiate a Project Development Agreement for the construction of each individual project.
The agreement is the largest project portfolio in the company's near-team pipeline, with a value of $5.6 million.
Solar Alliance CEO Myke Clark says that he is proud to be working with Empire to help “reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their operating costs".
"Combining the large electricity demands of movie theatres with clean, renewable solar power makes sense on several fronts. For Solar Alliance, this is an opportunity to work with a top tier company in a new market where solar is expanding rapidly.
“It also marks our first large scale solar projects in the United Kingdom, a country we believe has tremendous potential for growth in solar. Our project management approach to projects in new jurisdictions allows us to leverage our extensive solar experience and deliver a quality project to customers in almost any market."
The company has previously worked in Canada, California, Tennessee, North/South Carolina and Kentucky, where it’s projects generate enough power for 150,000 homes. Moving into the UK market will help the company diversify however, particularly given the growth in large-scale projects seen in the UK.
The first development will be at Empire Birmingham Great Park, before the companies move on to the 13 other potential projects. The economics of each site will be determined as they are developed, but Solar Alliance and Empire Cinemas have suggested that similar sized systems typically have an approximate capital cost of $400,000.
The rooftop capacity of an Empire cinema is approximately 200kW. Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinemas says that the company is committed to taking advantage of this potential by installing solar.
"As the leading independently-owned cinema chain in the U.K. Empire Cinemas is proud to offer our customers an exceptional moviegoing experience. Installing solar at our cinemas will establish Empire as an industry leader in sustainability and that is something we are extremely proud of."