Castle Donington to ‘Don’ Solar Panels

A major iconic English building is to join the solar boom.

Castle Donington in the East Midlands of England is set to house the UK’s largest rooftop Solar PV project, a huge 6.1 MW, which should generate 5000 MWh of electricity per year according to owner M&S.

The installation consisting of 24,272 Solar Panels over a 900,000 sq ft roof will be completed early 2015, avoiding the speculated post-April limit that investors will place on rooftop projects to 4.99 MW due to any installation of 5 MW or more completed after March 2015 will receive subsidy payments under the government’s new Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, said to be the UK’s preference over its current Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme.

CfDs, which will come into effect in April 2015, will pay a variable top-up between the market price and a fixed price level, known as the “strike price.” If the strike price is lower than the wholesale market price, generators will be asked to return the difference.
The Castle Donington project will be just one of several solar installation projects announced by Marks & Spencers in the coming year in an effort to meet their target of 50% of the electricity used in their building operations is from small-scale renewables by 2020.
The impact of such a large scale renewable system?

Castle Donington, used as a Marks & Spencers automated distribution centre will be more or less self-sufficient during daylight and will reduce their carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over 20 years.

Marks and Spencers are not the only Supermarket involved with reducing their own carbon footprint, Sainsbury’s, another British Supermarket has been installing PV systems on their rooftops, reaching over 200 PV installations to date. I’m sure it won’t be long before Solar Panels on rooftops will be as standard as Supermarkets opening 24 hours a day.

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