In 2012, Sharp Cutters installed a 22 kWp system at its manufacturing site in Bradford to turn solar power into laser power; a move that’s allowed them to produce cutting tools at one of the lowest ‘CO2 per metre’ costs in Britain.
The decision to choose renewable energy came after the company upgraded their 2 kW CO2 laser cutter to a new 2.5 kW version. For laser cutters to be accurate, they must be maintained at 20⁰C at all times. So with the current 100 amp supply already under pressure, especially during summer months when the chiller works extra hard in the heat and main fuses often blow, it was decided that a solar solution was needed.
After researching solar panels online, Sharp Cutters approached several installation firms, including EvoEnergy, while at the same time contacting neighbouring business Sherbourne Upholstery for feedback on its recently installed PV system – fitted, coincidentally, by EvoEnergy.
Harry Lingard, Finance Director for Sharp Cutters, said:
“I was incredibly impressed with the staff at EvoEnergy, from the initial phone call right through to handover. The team came up with ideas and solutions that other companies didn’t. The team’s professionalism, together with the excellent recommendation from Sherbourne, meant I had no hesitation in choosing them to complete the install.
“Overall I’m really pleased with the service, installation and performance of the system. When we switched on the system, the downtime was just half an hour and seamless from start to finish. The whole experience has been trouble-free.”
Since the installation, Sharp Cutters has seen a 40% reduction in energy bills. The income from the Feed-in Tariff has also been a welcome revenue stream for the business, helping the company see a healthy return on investment of around 12% in the first year. Furthermore, there have been no blown fuses since the install thanks to the additional generation.