M&S generates renewable energy from UK's largest roof mounted solar array
The solar PV array spans the site’s 900,000 square foot roof and will generate over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, the equivalent amount of energy to power 1,190 houses.
The 24,272 PV panel structure will lower Marks & Spencer’s carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over 20 years. The energy generated will provide nearly 25% of the energy required for the fully automated distribution centre, which is big enough to hold 11 football pitches.
Marks & Spencer said the PV array will help it to maintain its commitment of sourcing 100% of its electricity for UK and Ireland buildings from renewable sources, with 50% sourced from small scale renewable sources by 2020.
Hugo Adams, director of property at Marks & Spencer, said: “The completion of this project is hugely exciting for everyone at M&S. It is the first significant step in a number of solar energy initiatives we are planning this year. The scale of the project demonstrates our ambitious goals and long term commitment to onsite renewable energy.”
Amber Rudd, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said: “There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations – and this is a great example of how businesses can reap the benefits.
“More rooftop solar means more jobs - and will also help deliver the clean, reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.”
The project is the first of a number of onsite renewable initiatives set to be rolled out this year by Marks & Spencer. Since the launch of Plan A in 2007, Marks & Spencer has lowered its carbon emissions by 37% and is carbon neutral across its worldwide operations.
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