Flamingo Flowers is a leading grower and supplier of fresh-cut flowers, house, and garden plants, at Sandy they assemble bunches of flowers for many retail outlets, combining fresh flowers from around the UK and abroad. They wished to switch to a greener, renewable energy supply and sought out ways to do this.
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An obvious solution for the company’s green objectives was a ground-mounted solar array in the curtilage of their facility, and so they commissioned Syzygy Consulting to perform a competitive tender, focused on solar energy production for the site.
However, whilst visiting the site, it was clear that a ground-mounted array would require fencing for security, long cable runs and preclude further site-building expansion in the near future, as well as needing visual screening from the site and dedicated inverter enclosures.
Instead, EvoEnergy assessed the roof areas of the site and chose the best roofs with a high generating capacity and structural integrity to locate solar PV on them.
Rather than provide a solution with a mixed ground mount and roof-mounted solution, by using more efficient solar panels on both the south and north-facing roofs, the site energy load could be met, whilst avoiding any ground-mounted arrays, meeting 25% of the site’s annual electrical demand.
Instead of purpose-built inverter enclosures, the inverters were proposed to be located in the main electrical plant room. This solution was seen as optimal by the client and EvoEnergy was appointed in January 2020.
As COVID hit the UK in that year, special arrangements had to be made to allow work to progress. The installation team because their own ‘bubble’ sharing a house near the site. External toilet and welfare facilities were located next to the site to avoid interaction with workers on the site and separate parking and access areas were created.
Because of the insurance requirements of the project, Solaredge inverters and optimisers were utilised to control the PV system and Tier 1 Trina Solar panels were used throughout with maintenance pathways left all over the roof for easy cleaning access.
The arrays can be monitored on the Solaredge portal. EvoEnergy installed a weather station atop the array which can record live performance ratio data, showing the system’s live efficiency.
The project was funded by Aberdeen Standard Investments (now trading as abrdn) and was their largest PV system to date as part of a landlord-owned PPA deal. The solar benefits abrdn, offering an attractive return, reducing the carbon load on the Company and reducing tenant electricity costs, and supporting their ESG credentials. The project is maintained by EvoEnergy’s in-house Operations and Maintenance Team.