Sunshine and shopping: E.ON and East End Foods install Birmingham’s largest solar array
Work has now been completed on a £250,000 project to install what is thought to be Birmingham’s largest solar array – to the roof of the East End Foods cash-and-carry at Aston Cross.
E.ON installed the 612 panel solar photovoltaic array at the 120,000 square foot former HP Sauce factory site which will generate up to 150kW of electricity – enough to run 37 average sized homes1.
The panels are designed to meet all of the building’s daytime electricity demand and will save an estimated 63 tonnes2 of carbon dioxide per year. Any surplus electricity generated will be fed back into the national grid.
Michael Woodhead, Managing Director of E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business, said: “East End Foods is a real business success story for Birmingham and the West Midlands and this project is a great example of two companies – both hugely experienced in their fields – working together to put sustainable energy at the heart of future plans.
“In the UK the sun’s rays still have as much as 60% of the strength of those at the Equator, so even on cloudy or overcast days these solar panels will be providing a sustainable energy source that will increase energy security, reduce bills and contribute towards Birmingham’s environmental ambitions.”
Tony Deep Wouhra, chairman of East End Foods, said: “Once we acquired this land we said we that would make this the gateway to Birmingham – we knew we would have to do something exceptional.
“Carbon neutral became my aim and that’s why all the directors were very enthusiastic that this should be done. We capture and reuse waste water on the site and now we have solar panels providing all our energy – the foundations have been laid to make this a fully carbon neutral building.
“I will be encouraging other businesses to look at the financial case for PV as it is a great opportunity to save money and display their commitment to lowering carbon.”
1 Based on 3300 kWh new typical medium electricity consumption per year as advised by OFGEM - Typical domestic energy consumption figures, Factsheet 96, 18 01 11
2 Based on grid electricity factor of 0.5246 kg CO2e per kWh as advised by Carbon Trust Energy and Carbon Conversions 2011 Update
Notes to editors:
• Originally established over four decades. East End Foods plc has grown into one of the UK's leading spice, lentil and rice specialists, with an annual turn-over in excess of £165m.
• We currently run three cash and carry depots in Birmingham: the newly opened state of the art, 120,000sq. ft. Aston Cross Cash and Carry, a Smethwick Cash and Carry and a Central Birmingham Cash and Carry. We offer our own extensive East End product range alongside every other major brand required to suit our customers’ needs.
• E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, retailing power and gas, developing gas storage and undertaking gas and oil exploration and production. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.ON employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide;
• In the UK, E.ON supplies power and gas to around five million domestic, small and medium-sized enterprise and industrial customers - meaning the company has to buy approximately 122.7 billion kWh of power and gas each year to meet their needs. E.ON also offers innovative energy services and technologies tailored to meet its customers' needs, and is helping customers become energy fit by encouraging them to insulate their homes, moderate their energy usage and even generate their own power;
• E.ON's Reset Review continues to identify and discuss changes with customers through its 28,000-strong YourSay panel, its independent Customer Council comprising business leader Allan Leighton, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts and ex-MP and Select Committee chair Paddy Tipping, its 1,000-strong MySay employee panel and through discussions with consumer advocacy groups such as Which? and Consumer Focus. Changes made to date include: Helping customers control their bills: Fair prices, simple products, transparent profits, A fairer way of paying: Providing stability to help households budget, Improving customer service: Consistency, easier contact, the confidence to complain;
• E.ON's generation portfolio includes world-class gas-, coal- and oil-fired power stations. E.ON is a market leader in combined heat and power (CHP), and is one of the UK's leading green generators with 20 wind farms and the UK's first wave power generator, with another 1,500MW of renewable capacity under development.
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