The UK’s largest baker, Greggs, has praised the role that solar will play in helping the company meet its ambition of reducing its carbon footprint by 35% by 2015.  

After winning a competitive bids process, Solar Advanced Systems installed 10 solar arrays for Greggs. The commercial rooftops were installed on Greggs’ manufacturing sites across the UK with only eight months from contact to installation.

Solar Advanced Systems had to individually design each of the solar systems in order to meet Greggs’ challenging health and safety requirements. Six of the rooftops were installed with 50kWp systems between May and July, and four sites with 250kW from August to September.

Commenting on the decision to go solar, Stephen Weldon, social responsibility manager at Greggs, said: “As a responsible business, we have a duty to manage our energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient in our bakery and retail operations.

“The installation of PV panels on our bakery roofs provided the perfect opportunity to make use of a previously unused resource [roof space], take advantage of the government’s feed-in tariff scheme and generate carbon-neutral electricity for use in the bakeries, and, therefore, reduce the amount of fossil fuel we need to buy and consume.”

Trina Solar provided 1.28MW of PV modules for use in all the Greggs’ solar sites. Commenting on the use of Trina modules in the project, Richard Rushin, Trina Solar’s UK sales manager explained that the implementation of anti-dumping measures by the European Commission has created “a level playing field on price” which meant that PV manufacturers have had to differentiate through quality levels and service.

Asked whether Greggs would recommend solar PV to others, Weldon replied: “Solar PV is one of the most reliable renewable energies on the market, with proven technologies operating across the globe. Installation makes a visible and public statement of an organisation’s sustainable credentials, and provides a very reliable payback in terms of energy savings as well as the guaranteed and index-linked FIT scheme.”

Solar Advanced Systems received a commendation at the inaugural Solar Power Portal Awards for its work with Greggs. The 10 solar arrays are expected to cut Greggs’ CO2 emissions by 600 tonnes per year.