Volmary Ltd are reducing their carbon imprint and at the same time their energy bill thanks to a solar PV installation at their site in Cambridgeshire.
Volmary’s 20 acres of greenhouses require heating, irrigation and lighting systems to produce both colourful and edible plants and vegetables for the UK and European horticultural market. With an electricity bill of over £100,000 a year, they were keen to look for ways to reduce it.
Financial Director, James Banton, explained: “We use biomass for heat, but require a lot of electricity to run pumps, irrigation and lighting. Our primary focus when we looked at solar was reducing our carbon footprint and gaining some cost savings. We have huge consumption and anything we could do to reduce the amount of electricity we had to buy would help us bring running and environmental costs down.
“Having already invested in biomass it made sense for us to look at other renewable options for our electricity as reducing the carbon emissions in our operations is important to us. We had some unused land on our site and contacted Geo Green Power to understand the size of system that could be installed and whether this would be a good investment for the business.”
After visiting the site and completing their proposal Geo Green Power were instructed to install and commission a 200kW ground mounted solar PV system. The installation generates around 190,000kWh of electricity and saves 85.5 tonnes of CO2 every year.
James added: “Geo Green Power installed and commissioned our 716 panel system in just three weeks, and it has been running well ever since. We use nearly all of the electricity we generate, and only a small amount is ever sold to the Grid. We still have a large bill, but our investment is delivering a 25% saving on top of the other benefits and I would recommend any business with large utility overheads to investigate solar PV.”