Designed and fitted by commercial PV developer EvoEnergy, who recently constructed a 354-panel solar carport for Nottingham City Council, the system will generate around 22,400 kWh per annum. The South Bank Tower will the harness solar technology to power its 193 luxury apartments, shops, restaurants and bars.

EvoEnergy project manager James Fuller said: “Getting a solar system on top of a building this high is a complex process; it brings different challenges to an installation, on say, a two or three storey building. There’s a lot of planning to be done around the logistics of the project, and once you’re up there you’re having to contend with the ever-changing British weather – there were a few times we had to stop working due to the high winds!

“The finished solar system looks fantastic and really complements the building’s new, modern look. Not only is it going to help reduce the tower’s annual energy costs, it’s also an attractive feature which may appeal to those looking for eco-friendly features in their new home.”

‘Right fit’

The system will comprise 50 “Solarworld 260” panels on both the 41st and 42nd floor, making it one of the highest solar installations in the UK. Developer EvoEnergy was awarded the work by construction contractors Mace Group, who the firm has worked with since 2011.

Mace project director Shaun Tate said: “It’s very important to Mace that we use sustainable and energy efficient methods whenever possible so using solar power technology on this innovative, modern building just seemed like the right fit.

“We have to think about the end users of the buildings that we build so this will benefit the residents of South Bank Tower and I’m very proud of what the whole team has achieved here.”

Low-carbon capital

The solar installation is the latest in a line of low-carbon innovations designed to improve the sustainability of the capital.

EvoEnergy has previously installed a 250-panel, 50 kWp solar system on top of London’s 38-storey landmark Walkie-Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street. Canary Wharf Group’s landmark project was awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in central London.

Earlier this month, it was announced that combined heat and power (CHP) technology will supply enough low-carbon energy to power 20,000 of the capital’s residents in the London Docklands area as part of a £1bn Royal Wharf development.

Meanwhile, Europe’s biggest ever floating solar array is being installed on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, to the south of the River Thames.

George Ogleby

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