Running on Solar Power

Solar panels are another step forward in our sustainability journey. The installation of photovoltaic panels at our operations sites means an ongoing source of renewable energy at zero emissions, and the volume of panels installed means we generate as much electricity as we consume on an annual basis. This solar energy powers the recharging of our EV fleet and batteries from plant equipment, powers large gantry units and heavy-duty cutting machinery, and the equipment in our cable recycling facility – not to mention provides power to the offices and our testing laboratory.

The misnomer is that solar power is only generated on sunny days – that’s not true (although it certainly generated more energy on those days). The PV panels work best on clear days, without heavy cloud cover, and so can provide electricity all year round. On the best days we’ll generate more than we need and can feed it back into the National Grid benefitting from a feed-in tariff, and should supplemental supply be needed we can pull from the Grid on 100% renewable tariffs, maintaining our zero emissions electricity status.

Being energy self-sufficient has benefits over-and-above those linked to sustainability. At a time of energy price rises and talk of uncertainty of supply, it gives us additional operational resilience. With the cost of PV equipment becoming ever-more affordable, the return on investment has come down significantly from the 15-20 years estimated when the technology was in its infancy. Just as importantly, the knowledge that we are generating and using clean energy supports our goal to become net zero over the coming years, in line with our commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative.

For more information on our continuing sustainability journey, see our sustainability report or click through to the ESG section of the site.