White Rose Shopping Centre
In August 2017, EvoEnergy completed a 783 kWp on Landsec’s White Rose shopping centre in Leeds, making it the biggest PV array on a UK shopping centre.
With the FTSE 100 property investment company implementing ambitious sustainability targets across their portfolio, EvoEnergy were awarded the work to install the iconic array, project managed by Syzygy Renewables, in addition to installing a smaller 50 kWp array on their neighbouring shopping centre – Trinity Leeds – located in the City Centre.
The EvoEnergy team worked around the clock for six weeks to install the 2,902-panel system, where a custom-mounting frame (supplied by K2 mounting systems) was required to fix the panels to the shopping centre’s curved roofs. To maximise the system’s potential, the mounting system was also designed to raise the panels by 15 degrees to face south.
In addition to using SolarEdge inverters, SolarEdge optimisers were also fitted to each pair of panels to further enhance the system’s generation capability. SolarEdge technology also provides arc-fault protection to prevent fires by automatically reducing the voltage to a safe level in the event of any issues being detected.
To minimise disruption to staff and visitors onsite, EvoEnergy negated the need to erect major scaffolding by using demarcation and rope access on the rooftop; this allowed installers to move safely around the working environment. To reach the rooftop and prevent non-authorised personnel from accessing the site, installers used a scissor-lift which also transported panels and equipment from the ground. This further prevented the need to use heavy loading machinery onsite that would have required large areas to be fenced off.
Mike Salisbury, Head of Engineering, EvoEnergy, commented:
“The complexity of the installation and the nature of the site meant that we had to design a solution that would not only provide a worthwhile return for the client, but also be delivered as safely as possible. To achieve the desired outcome, we had to use our experience working on similar installations in addition to utilising industry-leading technologies.”
Over 680 MWh of electricity is expected to be generated each year by the solar, supplying around 39% of its daytime electricity demand to help power various landlord services including interior and exterior lighting, cooling systems and air treatment processes. Although the green energy won’t be used by the individual stores, Landsec will pass energy bill savings on to their customers via their service charges.
From an environmental perspective, in the first year, the White Rose shopping centre will reduce its carbon footprint by around 240 tonnes (2017 grid intensity); equivalent to taking around 40 cars off the road.
Scott Parsons, Managing Director, Retail, Landsec, said:
“We are extremely proud to have set a UK-wide benchmark for renewable electricity. Landsec is committed to setting and achieving ambitious sustainability targets and this is a fantastic example of how innovative thinking can benefit both retailers and the environment.”
EvoEnergy are also providing an operation and maintenance plan to Landsec to ensure that the array continues to meet the expected performance and return on investment. In addition to individual panel and inverter monitoring, a bespoke weather station has also been installed adjacent to the array to monitor weather data including temperature and solar irradiation so the system’s performance can be mapped against varying weather conditions throughout the seasons.
In 2013, Landsec installed their first solar PV project at their busy Gunwharf Quays shopping centre with a 249 kWp array. Since then, the system has performed above expectations and together with rising energy costs and evolutions in energy technology, has inspired Landsec to continue implementing sustainable strategies and targets across their portfolio.
View a short timelapse and aerial video of the White Rose installation below;