The organisation has joined forces with InRange to install the rooftop solar. Image: The Range.
The organisation has joined forces with InRange to install the rooftop solar. Image: The Range.

Retail giant The Range is set to install solar panels across 4.2 million square feet of warehouse roof space at its Ashford site.

By joining forces with InRange, a managed marketplace for enterprise renewable energy procurement, The Range will install around 40MW of solar panels on warehouse rooftops, which could shrink electricity bills across the portfolio by at least 25%, the company said.

By participating in the InRange network, The Range has been able to sell surplus generation to large energy buyers and unlock “more value faster from every square foot of warehouse space than any other partner”, it said.

Alex Simpkin, CEO of The Range, said: “We’re on a journey to become a net zero business. Our partnership with InRange is a real demonstration of our commitment and has really sped up our efforts meaning we can already see immediate benefits for both us as a business and as a positive impact on our local communities.”

Warehouses could be critical in supporting the UK’s decarbonisation journey. In 2023, construction analyst Barbour ABI’s research team emphasised that warehouses hold huge untapped potential and could create up to 25GWp of new rooftop solar capacity for the nation.

Barbour ABI’s AMA Research team estimated that the existing warehouse roof space is over 165 million m2, the equivalent of 30,834 football fields, with a potential solar capacity of around 25GWp.

Orbital Retail Park to install 5,000 solar panels

In other news, Swindon Borough Council approved plans from the Orbital Retail Park to install 5,000 solar panels on the rooves of its buildings in the town.

According to the BBC, the retail park submitted the request to install the panels in February, arguing that the installation would make “a significant contribution to the site becoming net zero”.

The local council seemed to agree with this assessment, greenlighting the proposal for the project, that will see the new solar installations meet 56% of the retail park’s energy needs.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore the UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.