Produce World Yaxley, the Produce World Group’s home of organic vegetables, is leading the way in green energy by installing 800 solar panels on the two factory buildings at the site. Produce World Group is the UK’s largest grower and supplier of fresh vegetables, and a leader in the organic vegetables market.
The new 200 kWp solar array will generate approximately 188,000 kWh of electricity each year to help power the site, and this is the equivalent of the annual electricity needs of 66 semi-detached three-bedroom homes.
The array will be in place for the next 25 years and will save 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide during this time – equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide generated by driving nine million miles. Each year the solar array will save 80,000 kg of carbon dioxide.
The installation is part of Produce World Yaxley’s commitment to reduce its energy, water and waste output. The site is already using a closed-loop water system based on reed beds which forms part of its natural habitat area which is currently being developed.
Jamie Tointon, Factory Manager at Produce World Yaxley, said: “We are determined to match Produce World Yaxley’s status as the UK’s largest organic vegetable factory with cutting-edge sustainability credentials. The solar array means we will be generating our own electricity and will be less reliant on other energy sources. This will lead to a significant carbon and energy savings on the site.”
M3 Solutions, which installed the solar array, took four weeks to carry out the installation. It was a challenging task as the demand for high quality organic vegetables means the site is constantly busy with workers and lorries taking organic produce to leading supermarkets all over the UK.
Guy Chilvers, Business Development Manager at M3 Solutions, says: “When carrying out the installation our priority was to not interfere with the day-to-day running of the factories. Following an analysis of the site’s power usage, we decided to use four areas of roof space to fit the 800 SolarWorld panels, which made it one of the biggest factory roof installations that we had ever done. Overall we are very happy with the final installation and confident that our carbon saving and electricity generation predictions will be realised during the next 25 years.”
The Produce World Yaxley solar array and natural habitat projects form part of Produce World Group’s 4Life strategy which puts sustainability at the core of the business. This prioritises reducing the business’s impact on the natural environment.