Financial services firm UBS is to power its new UK headquarters in central London using a 138kWp rooftop array fitted by EvoEnergy.
The company’s 5 Broadgate offices – based in the heart of the capital’s financial district – have been fitted with 576 Panasonic N240 as part of the £350 million redevelopment of the 4 and 6 Broadgate buildings.
The system is expected to generate around 108,104 kWh each year, offsetting more than 57 tonnes of CO2 and UBS is expected to fully move into the offices when development completes in early 2016.
EvoEnergy said the development posed a number of design and logistical challenges throughout, not least height restrictions related to potential obstructions of views surrounding St Pauls Cathedral.
The installer designed a bespoke fixing base to ensure the panels were installed at a maximum angle of five degrees to comply with the restrictions and Daniel Roca, UK country manager at Panasonic, said the modules were “ideally suited” for the project given the limited roof space.
“The finished product not only represents a remarkable feat of engineering by incorporating a uniquely bespoke PV system on one of the most striking building in the banking quarter of London, but also sends a message that no matter how crowded a roof may be, there are ways and means to negotiate any obstacle or obstruction to promote renewable energy at a time when we should be thinking about the environment with every step towards new constructions,” James Sutton, project manager at EvoEnergy, added.
The installation comes amidst concerns for the future of the commercial rooftop sector in the face of considerable cuts to the small-scale feed-in tariff. Installations of between 50-250kW and 250kW-1MW face new FiT rates of 2.64p and 2.28p p/kWh as of 1 January, and there remains consternation about the uptake of solar rooftops in the capital.
Both the Solar Trade Association and Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones have lamented the number of commercial rooftop installations in the country and particularly in the capital, and called on regulatory and administrative barriers to be removed in an attempt to stimulate it.