Marks & Spencer has began installing 24,272 panels on its distribution centre in Castle Donnington, which will become one of the UK's largest single roof-mounted solar array.
The system is set to be completed in early 2015 and will generate around 5,000MWh of electricity each year. This means the fully automated distribution centre will be close to self-sufficient during the day and lowering the retailer's carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over the next two years.
"This further enhances the sustainability credentials of our BREEAM Excellent Castle Donington site," said Hugo Adams, director of property at M&S. "Coupled with one of Europe's largest solar thermal walls, the new solar PV system will make the building one of the most sustainable distribution centres in the world."
Alongside the 900,000 square foot solar roof, M&S is developing a number of renewable energy projects as part of its pioneering Plan A sustainability strategy, which commits the company to ensuring half of the electricity used in its buildings comes from small-scale green energy sources by 2020.
Separately, research from property giant JLL and solar developer Solarcentury published last week outlined how rooftop solar arrays can help reduce running costs, meet targets for building performance, and increase the value of the property by providing additional income streams.
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This article has been adapted from an article published in Business Green.