Exeter Met Office to install massive solar PV array

The Met Office in Exeter will shortly be installing the largest solar PV panel array in the UK. The new installation will be built by SunGift solar and is a 250 KW array that will stretch across the 150 metre long roof of the building’s Energy Centre

The £400,000 installation consists of 1,000 solar panels and is designed to meet demand from one of the Met Office’s new supercomputers. It will generate 221,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power 67 houses, saving around 116 tonnes of carbon per year. It will be linked to the Met Office’s Electricity Management System which will enable monitoring of the panels performance.

“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 the Exeter based SunGift Solar. “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.”

Peter Clayton-White Building Services Engineer at the Met Office said: “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.”

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