Largest solar panel roof unveiled - again

In the space of just two months Banbury has unveiled not one, but two UK record-breaking solar panel roofs, as the town's business community continues to push the boundaries of renewable energy capability.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 25th November 2016, 8:34 am
F: Steven Newman, Senior Economic Growth Officer, Cherwell District Council M; Tim Crisp, Business Projects Manager, Low Carbon Hub R: John England, Site Director, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG Front row: L: Elliot Smith, Project Manager, Solarcentury R: Stephen Hope, EHS Manager, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG NNL-161121-155711001

CTG, a Banbury-based site of UTC Aerospace Systems on the Thorpe Way industrial estate, is now host to the UK’s largest community-owned rooftop solar array.

The impressive expanse of solar panels unveiled on Monday beats the previous record set just eight weeks earlier by Banbury’s Prodrive.

The similarities, however, don’t stop there as the new record breaking roof was, like Prodrive’s, funded by Oxford based community green organisation Low Carbon Hub.

The 712kW, 2,590 panel project - 144 more panels than the previous record - will generate 593,304 kWh of clean electricity every year, which is enough to power 150 homes.

Over their 20-year life span, the solar panels will prevent 5,800 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

UTC Aerospace Systems is no stranger to solar generated electricity having installed them to its Singapore facility last year reducing CO2 emissions by 2,000 tonnes annually.

John England, site director, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG said: “Our business is at the forefront of aerospace innovation and technology. We’re working on next generation aircraft that will enable greener flight.

“What we do inside our factory is reflected in what we do outside. Using our roof space to generate clean energy whilst also helping the local community is a win-win for us all.”

The roof, installed by Solarcentury, is one of many Low Carbon Hub projects throughout the county which include 12 solar PV projects in Oxfordshire schools.

Tim Crisp, business manager at Low Carbon Hub said: “What made this project work in the context of massive solar subsidy cuts, was UTC Aerospace Systems CTG’s corporate goals for carbon reductions and their willingness to see the social and environmental value of our community benefit model.”