Scottish equestrian centre unveils new solar PV array

Members of the Ingliston Country Club, an equestrian centre based in Bishopton (Scotland), can now boast they are doing their bit for the environment while making significant savings on their energy bills after a new 120kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system was unveiled at the club this month.
Scottish equestrian centre unveils new solar PV array

The new development is the largest solar PV scheme operating in Scotland, and one of the largest in the UK, and sets a good example of how a commercial enterprise can play its part in reducing the country’s carbon output.

520 solar PV panels were installed over 820 square meters of existing roof space, and according to calculations, the new scheme will reduce the club’s energy use by 72000kWh, the equivalent of 48.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The scheme will also reduce the club’s energy costs by 40% and provide long-term security in a volatile energy market.

This ambitious solar PV project is part of a wider initiative undertaken by the Ingliston Country Club to reduce its carbon footprint. This includes the installation of a number of energy saving devices throughout the complex. For example, all of the club’s lighting has been replaced by ‘low power’ LED light bulbs and movement sensors and staff receive on-going training on how to save energy.

The solar scheme was successfully installed by two Scottish companies, Locogen, an Edinburgh based renewable energy developer, and Top Spec Contracts, an Erskine based construction and refurbishment company. Locogen was responsible for system design, consultancy and sourcing materials, while Top Spec Contracts provided direct labour for installation and project management services.

The companies managed to finish the project in time to meet the July feed-in-tariff (FIT) deadline enabling the club to benefit from lucrative solar rates for the next twenty five years. From 1 August 2011, new solar schemes over 50kw will receive much reduced rates after a recent shake up by the UK government’s Energy & Environment Secretary, Chris Hulne.

“We are immensely proud to be running one of the biggest commercial solar PV operations in the UK. This scheme is part of an ongoing initiative to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our energy output, and drawing our energy needs from renewable resources," commented Paul Fraser, Owner of Ingliston Country Club. "It’s also an effective way to reduce our costs, and we are very grateful to our suppliers Locogen for their expert advice and management and Top Spec Contracts for delivering the project within budget and in time for us to benefit from higher FIT rates.”

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