Solar helps power one of Europe’s largest garden centres

Company: Bridgford Garden Centre and EvoEnergy

One of Europe’s largest garden centre has installed a 250 kWp solar PV array on the rooftop of its new building, which is now open to the general public. Bridgford Garden Centre, in Nottingham, now features the latest technology including underfloor heating and rainwater harvesting and is now also being powered by 925 solar panels, installed by energy solutions developer, EvoEnergy.

The 270W Trina solar panels will generate over 200 MWh of clean energy for the garden centre every year, equivalent to the annual electricity usage of over 60 homes, whilst also reducing the business’ annual carbon footprint by around 70 tonnes.

EvoEnergy designed and installed the array using SolarEdge inverters and optimisers to increase the generation of the system, which it will also provide full monitoring for. The array also has an automated safety element that reduces the voltage of the system to a safe level if necessary.

It was installed over a period of three months around the final stages of the building’s construction. Now up and running, the garden centre can claim the feed-in tariff at the higher rate for 20 years.

Whilst the garden centre is run by Blue Diamond, the site is still owned by Edward Tarbatt who is developing the site for additional retail outlets.

This isn’t the first time that Bridgford Garden Centre has worked with EvoEnergy – in 2014, EvoEnergy installed a 50 kWp system (200 panels) on its existing site which is set to be re-developed for new retail opportunities. The solar panels will be removed and reinstalled on the new development in the future.

Mark Wakeford, MD at EvoEnergy, said: “It’s been great to work with Bridgford Garden Centre again, and to help it reduce its carbon footprint even further. Solar, combined with rainwater harvesting, highlights how businesses can take steps to become self-sustaining and we hope that more retailers will follow suit as they look to improve their green credentials.”

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David,  23 May 2018:
...I know the new centre at East Bridgeford is impressive and looks very good but I very much doubt it is Europes largest garden centre. I have been is some centres in Germany and Holland that are bigger than this centre.

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