The Solar Digest for Solar Power, Solar Energy and Photovoltaic PV News - Installation

Aldi Distribution Centre in Bolton Goes Solar

In 2015, EvoEnergy won the tender with building contractor, DSP Construction Management, to install a 2.1 MWp solar PV system on the rooftop of Aldi’s new regional distribution centre in Bolton, cutting the supermarket’s carbon footprint by almost 1,000 tonnes every year.

The 8,240-panel system was designed and installed by EvoEnergy using Renesola 255W solar panels, each connected to Fronius inverter technology in a purpose built room within the facility.

It took a ten-man team around eight weeks to complete and required careful coordination between installers, electricians and construction contractors on site.

The solar panels were installed with an east/west split to spread the generation throughout the day; this arrangement also allowed more panels to be installed on the roof-space and increase the system size.

Now operational, the array is generating an estimated 1,746 MWh per year of clean energy – equivalent to powering the electricity demand of more than six of the discount supermarket’s retail stores for a whole year.

The supermarket’s new 51,000 Sq Mtr distribution centre is one of the UK’s largest cold stores and, thanks to the new 13,500 Sq Mtr solar PV system, is also one of the most energy efficient.

EvoEnergy’s Project Managers devised the system to save as much space as possible, using 62 wall-mounted Fronius Eco & Symo inverters.

James Clifford, Project Manager for EvoEnergy, said:

    “Being selected to undertake this project was a real honour for our whole team and shows how our approach to commercial solar really works for the UK’s biggest companies. The firm’s ambitions for growth are matched only by its commitment to the environment. Its carbon footprint has been cut dramatically over the past few years and projects like this one will further help that long term goal.

    “No install can ever be considered to be straightforward, especially one on this scale, however this one ran smoothly from start to finish thanks to the thorough preparation and precautionary measures taken by our team. The finished system is exactly what the customer wanted.”

The Bolton regional distribution centre is the seventh of Aldi’s nine distribution centres to employ environmentally friendly measures, including climate-friendly refrigerant. This record has seen it awarded Carbon Trust accreditation in 2014 for successfully reducing its carbon footprint by 27 per cent in two years (2012/13).

Wolfgang Hink, Solar Energy Director for Fronius UK, said:

    “This is one of the largest rooftop PV systems where the Fronius Eco & Symo inverters have been installed in the UK and is therefore a flagship project for this product.

    “Being economical, high quality, simple to install and configure, these inverters are perfect for commercial projects and have been installed across some of the supermarket’s other sites in Europe.

    “Large projects like this one only work with efficient collaboration and professional partnership. My team worked closely with EvoEnergy, who are one of our Fronius Service Partners, to ensure the right support was provided throughout the installation.”


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