Power comes from above

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Distribution warehouse roofs could be a valuable source of power in the future according to Tim Western of King Sturge.

“We can expect to see this trend developing down the M5 into Devon and Cornwall, especially as the South West peninsula is becoming recognised as a national centre of excellence for environmental and energy conservation. That trend will include a totally new concept, with owners of large new logistics buildings providing water and energy saving systems for the main occupiers, and sub-letting the roof as a resource for generating solar power.

“Major property developers have recognised the growing need to address the issue of sustainability – especially in the South West, which is seen to have a national lead in energy and environmental conservation,” he said.

“This is not just a case of developers wanting to make an eco-contribution: they can see that potential tenants want to occupy energy-efficient buildings to minimise their costs, their carbon footprint, and their exposure to ‘green taxes’ and the demand from their staff and clients to be more socially responsible.”

Gazeley, with solar energy specialist Solarcentury, has developed a fast to fit, PV solution for industrial roofs. The first installation of the SB1000 Energy Roof took place on the 48-acre site of the Gazeley ‘Blade’ warehouse in Sheffield in October last year. A total of 36 SB1000 solar rooftop generators, each rated at 1kWp, were installed to form the energy roof system without any building structural upgrade costs. Generating over 28,000 kWh each year, the system is likely to save the CO2 emissions of eight three bedroom houses and provide 75 per cent of the office’s electricity needs.

According to Solarcentury, the SB1000 energy roof system has been designed to slot simply into the work flow of a building project and provide a simple PV solution. The majority of the system is built off-site and can be installed in as little as four man hours per 1 kWp generator.

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