Wolseley UK, a subsidiary of plumbing and heating product distributor Wolseley plc, has installed a 2MW PV array on the roof of its National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Leamington Spa.
The array, covering an area of 13,113 square metres, boasts 8,200 module and is capable of generating enough electricity to power 450 homes.
Installed over a six-month period, the project is set to generate £6.5 million over 20 years thanks to the UK’s feed-in tariff (FiT) for commercial buildings.
When operating at full power, the array will completely power Wolseley’s NDC while also creating a 10% energy surplus.
Steve Ashmore, managing director of Wolseley UK said: “As a business, we are committed to sustainable building. We opened the UK’s first commercial showcase for sustainable building products and construction methods, our Sustainable Building Center, in 2008. And we are continuing to lead the way by investing in the technology that we advocate…We are already seeing some fantastic environmental and cost savings from our PV installation and I hope that our success will inspire our customers into adopting green energy solutions, due to the significant results they can achieve.”
The payback period for the project is 6.8 years, meaning that the NDC will receive free energy after seven years. Wolseley UK will also achieve carbon savings of 1,280 tonnes per year.
The installation of a “mid-scale” PV array is promising for the UK, as the government is attempting to stimulate the commercial sector of the solar market, a largely undeveloped industry within the country.
At the end of last year, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker promised to help spur the UK commercial rooftop sector in 2014 by removing “regulatory barriers” that have halted deployment of many mid-scale projects.