Car manufacturer Bentley has installed a 20,000 panel solar system on the roof of its factory in Crewe. The system covers 3.45 hectares and boasts an installed capacity of 5MW. It is expected to be able to generate 40 percent of the factory’s electricity supplies at peak times and displace over 2,500 tonnes of carbon per year. A two-way connection means that energy can be exported to the national grid at weekends and shut-down times. The system is owned and maintained by Lightsource which will supply power to the factory via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Lightsource commented that in order for the project to remain viable it had to be developed under the Renewables Obligation (RO) rather than the Feed-in Tariff which will reduce payments to large solar farms from the beginning of April. The company said in a statement: “The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar array stands out as a major anomaly for a market that has continued to struggle since a challenging feed-in tariff rate was introduced when the tri-monthly degression mechanism was implemented.”
Other large companies such as Solarcentury and Conergy have been racing to complete their large projects before the deadline passes.