Met Office forecasts big savings from solar

THE contract to design and install one of the largest roof-top solar PV installations in the UK has been completed by SunGift Solar.
The 250 kW array stretches across the roof of the Met Office’s 150-metre long Energy Centre in Exeter. It includes 1,000 solar PV panels and will generate enough green electricity to meet the demand from one of the client’s powerful new supercomputers.
“The Met Office is a world leader in weather and climate services so it’s great news we were chosen from the tender process to carry out this prestigious job,” said Gareth Walton, business development manager of SunGift. “Our emphasis has always been on providing bespoke solutions that are at the cutting edge of technology, so we’re proud of the fact that our high level of technical knowledge and experience has been recognised.”


The installation will generate 221,000 kW hours of electricity a year and will save about 116 tonnes of C02 every 12 months. The system will be linked to the Met Office’s electricity management system and allow up-to-the-minute monitoring of the panels’ performance.
The tender process saw SunGift up against leading renewable energy installers and Walton added: “Despite being up against a number of much larger companies, we demonstrated exceptional technical knowledge and understanding to design the best system to meet the Met Office’s requirements.”
Peter Clayton-White, building services engineer at the Met Office, explained: “On a sunny day this array will generate enough energy to run one of our three supercomputers on sunshine, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our energy supply. We hope to have a display in our reception so everyone can see how much energy the array is generating at any one time and how much is going to the supercomputer.”

Image: A total of 1,000 panels was used in the installation.