London sunshine saves money and reduces carbon emissions

With the largest Solar PV array fitted to an existing London building

Bywaters, London’s largest undercover waste management company, has saved 361 tonnes of CO2 in just 9 months following the installation of a 1000kW solar panel array on the roof of its main facility in Bow, East London. The amount of CO2, which equates to the saving of 9,246 new trees, is already 40 tonnes more than was predicted for the full year.  

The 4000 solar panels, London’s largest Solar PV retrofit installed in February 2016, have generated 700MWh, providing most of the power needed for Bywaters’ large 650,000 tonnes per annum Materials Recovery Facility. On track to deliver a return on investment within six years, this renewable energy makes Bywaters nearly self-sufficient.

With air quality an increasing concern in London - and considered by many to be one of the biggest health threats facing Londoners today - such a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is to be welcomed.  Bywaters’ solar installation underlines the company’s pioneering approach to the environment and to its role in helping to improve London’s air quality.

The company, which works with customers to reduce their environmental impact, is on a mission to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pressure on the earth’s primary resources and help build more sustainable supply chains for the future.  

The capital is not known for its sunshine and it is true that one day in May can typically generate eight times as much energy as one day in December.  Even so, turning a passive asset, such as the roof of a building, into a profitable resource is proving to be a worthwhile exercise for Bywaters, and an example of what can be achieved in an urban environment. 

Commenting on the success of the solar array, John Glover, managing director of Bywaters, said: “Feasibility studies convinced us of the validity of using solar panels in the UK and, we are already saving more carbon than anticipated.  As well as reduced energy costs, the solar panels are enabling us to operate more sustainably.” Glover continued: “We have taken a number of decisive actions to clean up the capital’s air and believe in setting the benchmark for how businesses can carry out core processes without causing damage to the environment through harmful emissions.”

To make a significant improvement to the environment, businesses need to step up and start to take action to minimise their carbon footprint.   In many businesses, a 20% cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales (source:  The Carbon Trust).

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Commenting on the success of the solar array, John Glover, managing director of Bywaters, said: “Feasibility studies convinced us of the validity of using solar panels in the UK and, we are already saving more carbon than anticipated. As well as reduced energy costs, the solar panels are enabling us to operate more sustainably.” Glover continued: “We have taken a number of decisive actions to clean up the capital’s air and believe in setting the benchmark for how businesses can carry out core processes without causing damage to the environment through harmful emissions.”
London's largest retrofit solar array with 4000 solar panels helps power Bywaters Materials Recycling Facility