In March 2013, Lightsource BP successfully installed and connected over 20,000 solar panels, a capacity of over 5MW, on the roof of Bentley Motor’s factory in Crewe. The installations takes up 3.45 hectares of roof space which would otherwise be unutilised, and generates enough energy to power over 1,200 households.

At the time of installation, it was three times more powerful than the previous largest roof mounted system in the UK. At peak generation times, the system produces up to 40% of Bentley’s energy requirements, and reduces CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year.

When the project was completed, the following statements were released:

Michael Straughan, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing said “Unlikely as it may seem our 1940s plant in Crewe is ideally situated to generate solar power as the “saw tooth” factory roofs are south facing at an angle of 20 degrees.

“We take the sustainability of our products and factory extremely seriously and we are always looking for ways to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. The panels will reduce our energy costs and help ensure that our manufacturing operations in Crewe are efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.”

Nick Boyle, Group CEO of Lightsource BP, said “The installation on Bentley’s factory demonstrates the tremendous potential for solar energy in the UK and is a fantastic example of how businesses can gain greater pricing certainty for the future whilst reducing their carbon footprint. It is also remarkable what can be achieved in a short space of time and with no adverse impact on existing business activity.”