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The UK’s largest solar roof installation launched at Promens in Beccles

The UK’s largest solar roof installation has been launched this week at a site in north Suffolk.

The UK's largest solar roof installation has been launched this week at a site in north Suffolk.

Promens manufacturing facility, based in Ellough, near Beccles, is now home to the country's largest solar farm, on top of Promens warehouse roof.

Adrian Banks, engineering manager at Promens, said "It's great. It is very significant and positive.

"This is really another step along the path of commitment to reduce our impact on the environment and this is the most significant step Promens Beccles has done in the last 12 months."

1-969704Solar array of Promens rooftop in Beccles

The on-site link between the energy source and consumption has removed the need for new substations or land-based grid connections because almost all of the power generated will be used on site and any spare capacity will be fed to the national grid.

It was also a race against time to complete the project following the Government's recent reduction of subsidies available for any solar scheme over 50KW, which comes into affect from August 1.

This means the site will still be eligible to receive the Government's current Feed in Tariff for larger sites.

The site is also likely to remain the UK's largest roof-top installation with 7,005 solar panels and a capacity of 1.65MW; the equivalent of one year's energy for 480 homes.

The installation was developed by Lightsource, built by Grupotec, and funded by hundreds of small investors throughout the UK, through funds managed by Octopus.

Nicholas Boyle, CEO of Lightsource said "This roof-top solar plant highlights the important role solar generation has to play in our future energy mix, particularly when the energy it produces is used at source removing the need for wasteful distribution networks. Getting this site online before the August deadline was a considerable achievement and it is a real credit to Grupotec, for their speed and coordination during design and construction, and to Promens as a company for their commitment to the project and a willingness to do what was needed to get it completed."

Five other solar farm sites have also been commissioned across East Anglia and the east Midlands with a total of 75,200 solar panels being installed.

Two solar farms are in place at Lincolnshire with larger sites based at Hawton, Marston and Wilburton.

Paul Latham, managing director of Octopus, said "The successful delivery of projects such as this one will only strengthen the demand for solar installations in the UK.

"We are now confident that after the success of these solar facilities, we can look forward to further opportunities to invest in solar."

Mr Boyle added "These installations make East Anglia and the East Midlands the most important regions for solar power generation. The clean, renewable and reliable power they produce will make an important contribution to the UK's commitment to reducing carbon emissions."

The sites were built by Lightsource's contractors Conergy, Lark, Thermavolt, Groupotec and Solar Century.