Potato producer E. Park & Sons in the UK invests in 681 kW rooftop solar PV plant
E. Park and Sons Ltd, a family owned business established in 1924, processes and packs potatoes for the UK market. The company has for many years strived to improve and develop environmental initiatives to show their commitment to a cleaner and safer world. Pursuing these environmental goals gives the company an extra competitive advantage when selling to major supermarket chains and retail customers, that often seek out suppliers committed to reducing their carbon footprint and engaged in eco-friendly business practices.
At their main site in North Lincolnshire, E. Park and Sons began researching a new rooftop solar PV plant in 2011. A solar PV installation would help the company meet their environmental goals but also offer them a stable energy supply cost. After researching the project over a two-year period, they selected Renewables 4 Business to design, supply and install the solar PV plant.
Prior to the installation of the solar PV system, Renewables 4 Business had to first face several unique challenges at the site. The solar PV system would add an additional 54 tonne weight loading on two buildings. Stringent structural surveys were carried out to ensure the buildings were able to hold the added weight. Secondly, the processing plant utilized a one-way traffic system that ran 24 hours a day that could not be disrupted by delivery of installation materials. Deliveries had to be carefully coordinated to avoid any disruption in business activity. The local electricity connection also had to be upgraded due to the additional generation from the solar PV system.
The final 681.6 kWp solar PV plant design was split across two arrays on two different buildings. The main building with the bulk of the PV generation had a 586.5 kWp array. A second smaller cold store building on the site had the remaining 94.5 kWp capacity. 2,742 BenQ 250W panels were employed in the system in total. The entire installation was completed in just eight weeks owing to the Renewables 4 Business project manager’s careful coordination of the many contractors hired to carry out the solar PV system construction. Renewables 4 Business selected Delta TL inverters for the solar PV system. The reliable transformerless inverters feature a rugged cast aluminum chassis and IP65 weatherproof rating, fitting for the UK climate. A total of 21 SOLIVIA 30 TLs and 1 SOLIVIA 20 TL were utilized in the solar PV plant composed of two solar arrays. Additionally, Delta provided Monitoring systems at the site.
The new solar PV system, in operation since February 2014, generates over 560,000 kwh of electricity per year and provides an annual reduction of 320 tonnes C02. The new solar PV system provides additional income and savings for the company of around £100,000 annually, which can cover a significant portion of the overall electrical running cost for the site.
Renewables 4 Business was able to help E. Park and Sons to meet their long term environmental objectives but also provide them with a stable and predictable energy supply that will make it easier to avoid higher energy costs in the future. E. Park and Sons is leading the way in demonstrating to key suppliers of major supermarkets and public sector bodies how they can operate with a reduced carbon footprint while also gaining many financial benefits from a solar PV system.