A carbon footprint saving equivalent to 1.104 million car miles has been achieved by the new Berry Gardens head office, packhouse and cold store facility in Kent in its first year.
Solar specialists BeBa Energy UK Ltd returned to the impressive new building a year after it had been commissioned to check the predicted figures against reality.
“We found that the solar panel installation for Berry Gardens had performed impressively well and had pretty much hit all its targets,” said delighted BeBa Energy UK technical director Darren Oliver.
“We predicted that the 993.85 kW array would generate 949,384 kW hours of solar energy in a year and it has come within 2% of that figure –and that’s despite ten days in August when the system was switched off while site-wide electrical testing was carried out,” he said.
“The system also includes control hardware designed to ensure the output doesn’t overload the local grid, and that kicked in four times in May, so the true figure is likely to have been in excess of the prediction.”
The power generated by the system, one of the largest of its kind in the UK, supplied 27.37% of Berry Gardens’ total energy needs over the year, while 9% of the solar electricity went into the grid to be used by local homes and businesses.
“The solar PV system reduced Berry Gardens’ carbon footprint by 215,338 kg, the equivalent of the amount of carbon dioxide that would be locked up by 10,906 trees over ten years,” said Darren.