British Land completes major retail rooftop solar project

Top property development firm British Land has completed the installation of one of the UK's largest retail rooftop solar projects, which will deliver 22% of the site's annual electricity demand during the summer months.

The fitting of 1,100 solar panels at the Serpentine Green Regional retail centre in Peterborough will generate 275MWh each year – enough electricity to power 1.2 million miles of charge for an electric car. Solar energy is expected to save the centre 3,289 tonnes of CO2 over the next 25 years – equivalent to taking 2,155 cars off the road.

British Land head of wellbeing & futureproofing Matthew Webster said: “Serpentine Green’s solar PV system further demonstrates our commitment to future-proofing our assets – unlocking additional income streams whilst helping to protect us and our customers against risks such as increasing energy prices. Alongside identifying renewable sources of energy, our well established energy efficiency programme means we carefully manage our energy consumption.”

Future-proofing assets

British Land’s energy efficiency programme has already delivered £13m of gross savings for its occupiers. A variety of initiatives have helped the developer drive sustainability at Serpentine Green – notable achievements include 20%  energy reduction over the last six years, 100% of managed waste diverted from landfill and 300 tonnes of waste recycled over the last three years.

Commenting on the latest development, Syzygy Renewables, which managed the project, praised British Land’s efforts to improve the sustainability of its operations.

“Having recently delivered a similar sized installation at St Stephen’s, Hull, Syzygy was delighted to return to work with British Land on this project,” Syzygy chief exeuctive John MacDonald-Brown said. “It is encouraging to see large commercial real estate investors like British Land seeking to reduce their carbon footprints and future-proof their assets. We very much look forward to the next project.”

Businesses are increasingly looking to make and use their own energy at a particular location, rather than buy that energy through the grid. Arsenal Football Club’s 60,000-seater stadium in North London became the first Premier League stadium to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewables, in the same week that Mongoose Energy finalised a deal to finance the UK’s biggest community energy project, a ‘solar plus battery’ farm in Warwickshire.

Earlier this month saw the release of the edie explains business guide, produced in association with E.ON, which provides an in-depth summary and helps sustainability professionals and energy managers understand exactly how to make the most out of onsite generation.

George Ogleby

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