Solar PV Installation Completed at Essex’s New Waste Facility

Installation of a large scale, roof mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system has just been completed on time and to budget by Photon Energy, at the new high tech waste management facility at Basildon, which was due for completion for Essex Waste Partnership at the end of August. This further enhances the environmental credentials of a facility that will aid the county’s recycling and reduce its reliance on landfill.

Photon Energy started work on site on the solar PV system in May this year, having won the business against tough competition in a lengthy competitive tender process.

The PV installation comprises 1,230 Upsolar modules and eight Power-One inverters, which are connected to the LV supply via a dedicated G59 relay. The 309.71 kWp system is mounted on the steel TATA trapezoidal roof of Bio Hall 3 using the K2 Speed Rail mounting system.

The system has been designed to deliver approximately ten per cent of the electricity requirement for a Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility and the associated visitor and education centre, which has been included at the site for the benefit of the wider community. The MBT facility will be capable of processing up to 417,000 tonnes of municipal waste a year and has a working life of 25 years.

Balfour Beatty (UBB Essex) was awarded the contract to build the MBT facility and process waste for a partnership comprising Essex County Council, the county’s 12 district and borough councils and the unitary authority of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in May 2012.

Later that year it started the tender process for the solar PV system it needed to help in meeting the energy efficiency conditions in its planning consent, and Photon Energy was among the bidders.

Robert Alford, Photon’s commercial manager states that the company was successful because of the quality of its design and its consultative approach to the bidding process. Photon Energy demonstrated a willingness to modify its design proposals in response to feedback throughout the tender process and was able to satisfy tight budgetary constraints.

“We proved that we had all the necessary technical expertise and experience, and we built a strong rapport with UBB Essex through good communications,” he said. The result was that Photon Energy beat eight competitors to win the business.  

Tim Davies, quantity surveyor, Balfour Beatty Major Projects, said: “The commercial and technical teams at Balfour Beatty have enjoyed working with Photon Energy on this project. Their team led by Jenny Palfreyman has worked in a manner consistent with all Balfour Beatty sites in terms of their communication levels and commitment to quality.”

 

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