UK Gas Station Draws Solar Energy Attention

Mounting solar panels on top of a gas station can be a good way to draw attention to energy use. Energy that most people gassing up their cars, and warming their homes, take for granted. A gas station in the UK is doing just that – taking advantage of their highly trafficked and highly visible location to show their support for renewable energy, while drawing attention to the importance of clean, renewable energy.

London, UK – February 19, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] With the installation of 96 photovoltaic (PV) panels, their new gas station in Hucknall in Nottingham becomes Tesco’s first store to incorporate renewable energy. Built in May last year Hucknall leads the way in environmental performance of all of Tesco’s 979 stores across the UK, according to SolarCentury, which installed the solar array. The installation is entering its final phase this month when the PV array is added to the roof of the gas station. “This project is a excellent example of how one organizations commitment to sustainability can have further impact on the community – the PV is highly visible to the 3500 customers who use the store everyday, and a display meter which shows how much energy is generated and used can be seen by people who filling up their cars,” said Kirsty Stevenson, solarcentury solar engineer and project manager. The total size of the PV system is 15 kW. It will generate 12.5 MWh of electricity a year – 20% of the energy required for the gas station or, in one of the more obscure comparisons SolarAccess.com has ever seen – enough to make half a million pieces of toast. By generating around a fifth of their energy requirements from renewable energy, the gas station is preventing 5 ý tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere every year – enough to fill 3 Olympic sized swimming pools. As well as being built on a brownfield site, Tesco were keen to include as many sustainable features in the design as possible, including; – energy efficient refrigeration systems – rainwater harvesting and sustainable urban drainage systems – maximising the use of natural daylight – sourcing sustainable materials where possible “At Tesco we’re committed to sustainable development, our use of renewable energy illustrates that we are serious about reducing our CO2 emissions,” Andrew Lees the Hucknall store manger said. “In fact our energy consumption has been held at 1997/8 levels for the past three years.”

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