The Bilting Farm Business Centre has had an integrated solar panel roof fitted on one of its main buildings by Ashford-based M3 Solar.

The solar installation, designed by M3 Solar, consists of a solar panel roof that replaced an old fibre-cement roof. The integrated system consists of 199 photovoltaic panels.

Shaun Beattie, UK Sales Manager for M3 Solar, said: “The installation took three weeks to complete but has been in the pipeline for about six months.

“The building is relatively old and has had a corrugated sheeting roof before. Rather than putting the solar panels on top of that roof, we removed it and have used a new integrated roof so that solar panels are attached to vertical rails and actually make a roof.”

Following the Government’s review of the solar feed-in tariff, Ashford council abandoned its plans to install Solar PV on eligible council-owned buildings. Beattie said: “Luckily for Bilting Mushrooms it has beaten the Government’s December 12 deadline on this, unlike the Ashford Borough Council scheme, which has been shelved because it will not meet the deadline.”

Bilting Farm has been growing mushrooms in Kent since the 1930s and now grows small quantities of speciality mushrooms for farmers’ markets, the electricity generated from the array will help drive down operation costs and the revenue received from the feed-in tariff scheme will provide an additional source of income for the farm.