Gregory Distribution fits solar panels to warehouse roof to reduce energy costs

Green energy system gives 19% return on investment and boosts firm's green credentials

South west transportation company Gregory Distribution has taken the first steps towards reducing its electricity bills, securing its energy future and boosting its green credentials following the completion of a 250 kWp solar PV system by Exeter-based SunGift Energy.

The system is installed on the roof of Gregory Distribution's temperature-controlled and ambient distribution centre in Cullompton and is equal in size to the one installed by SunGift at the Met Office. It will not only generate an exceptional return on investment of 19.3% but also reduce the company's carbon emissions by 116 tonnes per year.

"Reducing our environmental impact is extremely important to us," said Paul Jefferson, Operations Director at Gregory Distribution, "but the decision to install solar panels was predominantly a financial one and the figures had to stack up. SunGift's figures showed that we'll pay back the price of the system in just over five years, followed by another 15 years of Feed-in Tariff payments, which presented a very strong case for going ahead."

Gregory Distribution's chilled and frozen warehousing operates around the clock and a significant proportion of the electricity generated by the solar PV panels will be used on site, rather than being fed back into the national grid.

"This allows us to make maximum use of the energy that is generated," added Paul. "It means that we get the maximum financial benefit and – as we're producing our own electricity – we also reduce our reliance on our regular energy supplier."

Before starting the work, SunGift sent out a specialist surveyor to assess the site and look at every possible option for Gregory Distribution. The design team then discussed the options in detail and designed a bespoke system that included 1,000 high-quality BenQ Solar Green Triplex Panels.

"BenQ is one of the world leading solar PV manufacturers with exceptional quality control and a proven track record," said Gareth Walton, SunGift Energy's business development manager, "so we can be sure that they will perform well for Gregory Distribution.

"Many distribution businesses are looking for ways to reduce their energy costs and become less reliant on their energy suppliers, and solar PV is the ideal solution, particularly as most have ample roof space on their warehouses to install the panels on. What's more, as system costs have come down dramatically in the past few years and Feed-in Tariff rates have remained strong, five year payback periods are not uncommon. With a further 15 years of payments to look forward to and free electricity, distribution businesses really can make the most of the technology."

The solar PV system at Gregory Distribution that SunGift Energy carried out for Gregory Distribution included all preparation work, setting up safety rails on the roof, installing the solar PV panels and inverters, and carrying out all associated electrical works and commissioning.

"SunGift did an outstanding job," added Paul Jefferson. "Their attention to detail was excellent, and the disruption to our day-to-day business was kept to an absolute minimum. We're looking forward to seeing how the system performs over the next 12 months."

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