POWER generation hit the roof in Suffolk as one of the UK’s largest solar installations of its kind reached a million kilowatt hours (kWh)

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One year ago, 7,000 solar panels were installed on the roof of Promens Packaging’s plant in Beccles by Lightsource Renewable Energy, which leased the roof space from the firm and installed the PV panels free of charge.

In return, Promens has benefited from substantial savings on its energy costs because it has been able to run a significant part of its operations on the much cheaper ‘green’ electricity it buys from Lightsource.

Promens engineering manager Adrian Banks said they were “very pleased” they accepted the idea when they were approached by Lightsource.

“From July 2011 to the end of June this year we have generated 1.2 GWh, utilised 970 MWh, exported to the grid the remaining 191 MWh and in the process saving us over £50,000.00 on our electricity bill. These are clearly significant figures and we would expect the benefit to increase further over the next 12 months, especially with energy tariffs going up.”

He added: “I think it has put out a very positive message to our staff and customers alike.” Lightsource CEO Nick Boyle said: “It’s remarkable what can be achieved in such a short time and we’re proud to have made a significant difference in reducing energy bills.

Mr Banks said: “It’s difficult to say if business has been won as a direct consequence, but our greener credentials certainly impress when customers visit our site and see our aerial photos. 2011, we adopted the idea of the solar installation very quickly – a decision that we’re very pleased we made.”

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