Designed to recognise solar companies who break industry conventions to deliver efficient, economical and suitably-sited solar arrays in challenging circumstances. The shortlist reflects the incredible maturity of the relatively nascent UK solar sector, whilst showcasing true British ingenuity.  

Bentley Motor Rooftop, Lightsource Renewable Energy/Solarcentury

Bentley Motor's factory in Crewe boasts the UK’s largest rooftop solar PV installation following the completion of a 5.2MW array by Lightsource Renewable Energy.

Bentley’s Crewe factory has over 4,500 workers on site and is an intensive energy user. The 3.45-hectare south-facing roof provided the perfect platform for the 20,810 panels to generate up to 40% of Bentley’s energy requirements at peak times.

Gardener’s House, Solar 3C, So-Lar Smart Heating Systems

Andy Gardener from Devon, decided that after living in his country farm house for 17 years he wanted to stop burning oil and invest in something that would help him reduce his variable energy costs.

The installation of a 510 litre solar 3C cylinder, five thermal plates and 28 solar PV panels by So-Lar Smart Heating Systems has allowed him to dramatically reduce his energy bills in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Isle of Eigg Electrification Scheme, Wind & Sun Ltd

The Isle of Eigg, the largest of the Scottish Small Isles, is not served by traditional mains electricity; instead it had relied on costly diesel generators to provide energy. Seeking a cleaner, cheaper solution, the island overhauled its energy infrastructure to a new decentralised system that integrated multiple renewables into a newly constructed 11km distribution grid.

A total of 50kWp of solar PV, three hydro plants, four wind turbines and two diesel generators have allowed all residents to have access to a 24-hour stable electricity supply.

Sherwood Plastics Products, The Phoenix Works/ Enphase Energy

As a significant energy user, Sherwood Plastics Products decided to invest in solar to help control its spiraling costs. However, the site presented a number of problems including a dated corrugated fibreboard roof with metallic support structure and an installation area that was split over two roof surfaces, where variable shading threatened to disrupt the efficiency of the whole system. The final 19.5kWp solution incorporated microinverters to mitigate the effects of the variable shading.

University of Cambridge Sports Centre, Ecolution Renewables

The University of Cambridge’s new sports centre incorporates a domed zinc roof that provided a particular challenge for this solar installation. Each of the PV modules fitted would have a different orientation and pitch, as well as passing shade from the differing roof falls.

Using an innovative mounting system and microinverters, a 78.75kWp system was installed in just four weeks and is estimated to generate 71.8MWh annually, giving CO² emissions offset of 37,409kg.

Baywa r.e., sponsors of the ‘Most innovative system design’ category will be exhibiting at stand D10 at Solar Energy UK. Baywa r.e. will be running the Practical PV Feature Area at Solar Energy UK, featuring live demonstrations and talks, questions and answers as well as daily activities. Book your tickets now.