Metal manufacturer targets £170,000 solar savings

A UK metalwork manufacturer expects to save £170,000 on its energy bills after installing a 28.5kWp solar PV array on the roof of its Leicestershire factory.

The solar array on the roof of F1's Leicestershire factory

The solar array on the roof of F1's Leicestershire factory

F1 Manufacturing estimates the panels will generate over 24,000 kWh annually, saving an estimated 243 tonnes of carbon during their 20 year life span.

During this time, the company will also enjoy energy savings of over £100,000 in addition to generating more than £73,000 via the Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme.

F1’s managing director Scott Kirkpatrick said: “Many organisations are deterred by the capital costs of installing solar panels. However, having looked into the process and benefits more closely, we realised that they will pay for themselves very quickly.

“Furthermore, within a short time, they will actually be generating money for the company – as well as ensuring that we are operating in a more environmentally friendly way.”

Opportunity knocks

UK companies could save more than £5bn a year in electricity bills by installing fully-funded rooftop solar PV systems on commercial rooftop space, according to a recent study from Kingspan Energy.

It found that installing solar PV on just 61% of the nation's 2.500km2 south-facing commercial roof space would meet the total electricity demand of UK companies.

Major UK retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s have launched vast rooftop solar arrays in the last year, but Scott said that schemes such as the Feed-in-Tariff were helping smaller companies get involved.

He added that manufacturers have a special responsibility to embrace renewables and efficiency thanks to their energy-intensive processes.

The last Government also recognised the importance of decarbonising heavy industrial processes, publishing eight roadmaps for the most polluting industries in the UK, including iron and steel.

Brad Allen


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