The Metrocentre.

£2.8m Metrocentre solar panel project underway

Work is now underway on a new project to install over 3,500 rooftop and solar car port panels at the Metrocentre.

The retail and leisure destination is working with specialist renewable energy and low carbon technology consultant Syzygy Consulting to complete the £2.8m project and is one of the unique schemes to be granted ERDF funding for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project.

The solar panels will be installed on the roof of Metrocentre and on specially constructed solar car ports. In March 2022, solar car ports and 46 new EV charging ports will also be added to the Green and Blue Mall car parks.

The project will generate 1,243,800 kWh of electricity per year, the same energy required to power 340 households every year.

It’s estimated that the electricity generated from the solar panel installation will result in a reduction of 315 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equal to planting 32,500 trees over the system’s 25 Year Lifetime.

Switching to solar energy will reduce Metrocentre’s grid dependency by 30 per cent, offsetting more than 37 per cent of its total annual electricity use with its own low carbon supply.

Energy generated by the solar panels will be enough to power 600 electric cars for a year, currently there are 26,863 EV charge points in the UK compared to 345,000 registered pure electric vehicles. It’s predicted by 2030 there will be more than 6.5 million pure electric vehicles on UK roads.

With 46 new EV charging bays set to be provided as part of the project, the solar panels fitted above each parking bay will provide emissions-free ‘fuel’ for 7,230 electric car miles.

Gavin Prior, Metrocentre Centre director, commented: “We’re delighted to announce we have successfully secured ERDF funding to launch this new and unique renewable energy project.

“A massive solar panel and car port installation of this kind has never been seen before in a UK shopping centre and upon completion of the project, Metrocentre will have the largest solar panel installation of any UK shopping centre.

“Solar energy is the first stage of building a more sustainable future for Metrocentre, by reducing our carbon footprint and bringing renewable energy to the local community.

Gavin concluded: “This project, and others like it, are an integral part of our long-term strategy for the centre which focusses on sustainability and our place in the community.”

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