EvoEnergy completes the largest rooptop PV system in the UK

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Commercial solar PV developer EvoEnergy has completed the fourth largest rooftop PV system in the UK for Lyreco, a global office and workplace solutions provider, with the installation of a 3.811 MWp solar array at its national distribution centre in Telford.

It was the largest rooftop PV system to be completed in the UK in 2015 and is the second largest on a single building, according to EvoEnergy.

The project is also the first in the country to use large central inverters more commonly used for solar farms, bringing ground mount centralized inverter technology to a rooftop installation for the first time.

The install, made up of 13,860 panels, was fitted on to the roof of the firm’s 15-acre logistics site between October and January to cut its carbon footprint and is one of only five rooftop systems in the UK to exceed a yearly output of 3.2 GWh.

EvoEnergyOwned and operated through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement by Addison Energy Limited – a company funded by Guinness Asset Management’s EIS service – the system will save Lyreco more than £53,000 a year on its energy bills, as well as cutting annual carbon emissions by 1,700 tonnes – making the whole site carbon neutral in terms of electricity usage, the company said.

EvoEnergy was awarded the contract for its innovative technical solution to Lyreco’s challenge of offsetting the environmental impact of its 55,000 sq m distribution centre and 275 delivery vehicles.

The project was fitted with 13,860 Trina Solar 275W panels in three months onto a rooftop the size of 7.5 football pitches.

Project managers devised new rope access techniques and temporary skylight covers, alongside standard demarcation techniques, so teams could move around and work on the roof in safety. These allowed them to avoid disruption to Lyreco’s day-to-day operations while adhering to the highest health and safety standards.

Expert high voltage electrical solutions were required from EvoEnergy to fit the panels to work with the 11,000v on-site power supply, which the team handled by incorporating specially-built step-down voltage regulators into the system’s design.

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