Banbury's Karcher goes greener
Kärcher has taken the latest step in increasing its environmental performance throughout its supply chain by installing 967 solar panels on the roof of its Banbury headquarters.
The installation of the panels was achieved via an innovative funding model and reduces the cleaning technology company's reliance on the National Grid.
Working with renewable energy asset manager, Zestec, and their financing partner, NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF), an investment vehicle managed by NextEnergy Capital, Kärcher will now benefit from significantly reduced electricity bills, move closer to their environmental goals and achieve this without deploying any of its own capital.
Kärcher expects to generate 44 per cent of its annual electricity consumption through the solar panels and over the next 25 years the solar PV (photovoltaic) system will contribute significant energy bill and carbon reductions.
Mark Venner, chief operating officer for Kärcher UK, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the partnership between Zestec and NextEnergy Capital. At Kärcher we have a firm focus on our customer and putting the quality of our products at the heart of everything we do.
"We know that our climate is changing and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure our products have a responsible impact upon our environment.
"We have made the commitment to help preserve the world’s natural resources – across every element of our business operations from R&D concept to our entire supply chain.
"This project forms the cornerstone of this ambition at our headquarters and has enabled us to understand our energy demands more fully to manage the energy we generate and use.”
He added: "We always had solar in mind for our new headquarters in Banbury and the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model ticked two important boxes for us. Firstly, it puts responsibility for the installation and long-term maintenance in the hands of the experts, so we do not need to become experts in solar PV technology ourselves.
"Secondly, our capital is better deployed in additional warehouse stock than in a solar PV system; this funded model allows us to do both.”
To support UK businesses to adopt and embrace roof-mounted solar energy generation, NextEnergy Capital and Zestec combine their decades of experience to deploy the innovative PPA model.
Using this funding model, so-called ' host' properties benefit from immediate reductions in electricity bills and reductions in carbon emissions, with no capital outlay, in return for use of the airspace above the roof over a defined period.
The system has been designed in order for Kärcher to maximise the consumption of the locally generated green solar electricity before needing to draw from the National Grid.
Simon Booth, co-founder of Zestec, said: “Using our fully funded solar PPA model to help a global brand such as Kärcher enhance business resilience, whilst reducing energy bills and carbon emissions illustrates the important role that roof-mounted solar PV technology provides to UK business.
"A special mention goes to our installation partner, Solar Perfect, which ensured absolutely no disruption to Kärcher throughout the entire installation process, delivering another top-quality installation.”
Ross Grier, managing director for NextEnergy Capital added: “We are very pleased to support Kärcher on their environmental ambitions and we know that the retail and distribution sectors are going to need to become more energy efficient in the coming years as we adapt to reduce our impact on climate change.
"Schemes such as this will become increasingly important as the cost of energy to the consumer continues to rise.
"At NextEnergy Capital, we are pleased to work with our colleagues at Zestec to provide innovative rooftop solar PPA solutions to the marketplace that allow others to take a long-term view on an element of their energy security whilst supporting their transition to a lower carbon world.”