DEREHAM STEEL COMPANY SLASHES ENERGY BILLS AND ENHANCES GREEN CREDENTIALS WITH LARGE PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY
A Dereham-based steel fabricator is set to reduce its energy costs by £40,000 a year and be self-sufficient in electricity during the summer months following the installation of a huge solar photovoltaic array on its roof measuring nearly half an acre.
Watton-based Abel Energy took just two and a half weeks to install 960 solar panels on the roof of the factory at SCWS Group, based on Trafalgar Business Park in Dereham. The panels (one of the largest roof-mounted arrays installed by Abel Energy) will generate 250kW of electricity, 85 per cent of which will be used by the factory, with the remainder being fed back into the National Grid.
“Steel production is an enormously energy-intensive business and as such is an ideal candidate for a renewable energy installation,” said Chris Abel of Abel Energy. “Given that SCWS has an enormous roof, a photovoltaic installation was the obvious answer to the issue of rising bills and carbon footprint reduction.”
The Dereham Company, which manufactures and installs structural steelwork, metal floor decking, roof and wall cladding systems for the construction industry, moved to the 18 acre site in 2005. It has a total of four acres of buildings.
“We have invested heavily in efficient plant and machinery in the decade we have been in Dereham,” said SCWS maintenance manager Tim Harris. “The next logical step was to look at our energy costs, given that we are such a high electricity user. Abel Energy conducted a feasibility and usage study and came up with the plan for a 250kW solar array on the roof. The whole process has been very quick and easy.
“In the summer months, we will be more or less self-sufficient in electricity, reducing one of our major costs, as well as enhancing our green credentials - something which customers are increasingly concerned about, so this move has given us a competitive edge.”
Abel Energy is part of the family-owned Abel Group and specialises in supplying renewable energy to commercial and agricultural clients throughout East Anglia, offering expertise in solar, biomass and biomass CHP (combined heat and power) solutions.
Founded in 1966, SCWS produces up to 300 tonnes of coated structural steelwork per week from its 18 acre site in Dereham and offers services across the UK.