Investment in solar photovoltaic energy system saves Leicester manufacturer £20K per annum
Leicester-based manufacturer Michael Smith Switchgear Ltd (MSSL) has experienced a significant reduction in energy costs, saving over £20,000 annually, thanks to its investment in a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system. This system now provides approximately two-thirds of the company’s total energy needs.
After completing its first full year of operation, the solar PV system has proven highly effective, generating a peak output of 102 kilowatts (kW) and producing roughly 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. As a result, MSSL has substantially decreased its carbon emissions by more than 25 tonnes, which is equivalent to removing five petrol cars from the road.
The design and installation of the advanced energy system, which incorporates 284 solar panels installed on the factory’s south-facing roof, were expertly handled by Nottingham renewable energy specialist, Geo Green Power.
James Cunningham, Managing Director, Geo Green Power, said: “Companies are becoming much more proactive on environmental issues and, with energy usage and costs continuing to rise, solar installation continues to make sense financially. It’s not just solar either – we’re seeing a growing interest in heat pumps, battery storage, EV chargers and other products as well.”
Sean Smith, Managing Director, MSSL is delighted to report that the solar PV system has surpassed expectations: “The installation of Geo Green’s solar PV system has given us independence and control over our energy bills and is another important milestone as we continue to reduce our climate impact. We became carbon neutral in 2022 and we were the first, and are still the only, UK switchgear manufacturer to achieve the accolade. Our approach is to look at every aspect of our business in relation to its climate impact – for example, we redesigned our products to reduce our use of copper by 25 per cent, or more than 12 tonnes, every year.”
The company anticipates a complete return on their investment within three years and foresees saving over £500,000 on energy expenses over the next quarter-century. With two-thirds of MSSL’s energy supply now sourced entirely from emissions-free solar power, the business has made substantial progress in both cost savings and environmental responsibility.
Emily Smith, operations and finance director, concluded: “In recent years we have removed all gas heating from our business and we changed our waste disposal system so that nowadays we send zero-waste to landfill. We’re not resting on our laurels though – we’re a forward-thinking business so now we’re looking at rainwater harvesting and the installation of a ‘green’ factory roof. And, after that, we’ll move on to the next thing.”