On top of a 1MW solar PV project

  • Posted: 09 Dec 2021

We joined the team from Olympus Power as they completed construction of an on-site solar PV project for a manufacturing company in Birmingham.

We joined forces with Olympus last year to help fund ‘direct wire’ projects in the UK, enabling businesses to install solar panels on their property and use the renewable power they generate.

It was great to see first-hand the impressive work that goes into constructing a rooftop solar array, with small-scale decentralised energy generation such as this forming a key part of the UK’s net zero journey.

There is a strong business case for on-site renewables – not only does it help get more renewable capacity built in the UK, but the host company will benefit directly from the clean electricity it produces.

At this particular site, the rooftop solar PV panels will be used to generate around one third of the company’s total electricity needs with any surplus exported to the local electricity grid, reducing losses.

"We’re really happy to be supporting businesses with accessing cheaper, greener power. The build took six weeks in total to complete, with minimal interference to the host business or its operations. In return, they can now access long-term renewable power and take positive steps to reduce their impact on the planet.” Steve Bingham, Renewables Investment Manager, Olympus Power

While this particular project takes its power from the sun, other businesses could also look at technologies such as onshore wind and battery storage or co-locating a mix of different technologies. As we’ve seen with the recent gas crisis in Europe, fossil fuel prices can be extremely volatile. Developing an on-site wind turbine, for example, can help businesses to better manage their energy costs at the same time as improving their environmental footprint.

What makes a premises suitable? As you’ll see from the images, a large rooftop for solar PV is advantageous but all you really need is access to good levels of natural resource. For example, a location with abundant wind.

“Direct wire projects such as these are critical to the UK’s long-term decarbonisation goals and many businesses across the country could be eligible. We are happy to be supporting Olympus in its commitment to build over 100MW of projects and to be connecting more businesses across the country with clean energy. The host business' improved environmental credentials can also be a key differentiator with its carbon conscious customers.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables