In March 2013, in a drive to reduce soaring energy costs and to maximise return on investment, we took the decision to purchase solar panels. Installed by Empower Engineering in Dorset and covering all but the North facing factory rooves, the arrays of photovoltaic panels are capeable of producing 50 kw of power. Since installation, the panels have generated a total of 114.58 mwh and, as we use all of the power generated during week days, this represents a saving in bought in electricity of over £12,000. The icing on the cake is the saving of 63 tonnes of CO2 which would have been used to generate electricity from carbon based sources. That’s what you call green manufacturing!
Solar generation performance can be monitored in real time from anywhere using a web based application. Web monitoring by the supplier, Empower Engineering, also means that any problems (including dirty panels) can be diagnosed and addressed quickly.
We operate a state of the art machine shop, producing all of our own components and the savings made have reduced costs and enabled the us to be more competitive. With the receipt of the FIT (feed in tariff), which gradually covers the cost of the panels over their lifetime, on top of the actual electricity savings, return on investment has been over 12%. At a time when interest rates have been very low, this has been an excellent investment for us and effective cost control for our customers.