BeBa Energy installation means a third of the packhouse’s energy is drawn from solar

One of the largest rooftop solar arrays in Kent has been completed at Thanet Earth.

The new solar installation

The new solar installation

BeBa Energy recently completed the installation on Thanet Earth’s packhouse and office buildings at Birchington. The 1,054.9kW system will generate just under one thousand megawatt hours of clean electricity per year, which is enough to power 750 homes.

The new 2,740 panel scheme is anticipated to have over 80 per cent utilisation, with the remaining 20 per cent being exported to the local grid, significantly reducing the amount of electricity used from the National Grid.

It also adds to Thanet Earth’s existing renewable energy portfolio, with solar power now contributing around 32 per cent of the packhouse’s power use.

Shaun Beattie, director at BeBa Energy, said: “We are delighted to have worked on this major installation for Thanet Earth, which will also see an anticipated 189,706kgs carbon reduction each year for the business.

“We have now completed several installations of a similar size or larger for major horticulture and agriculture businesses in the county and the sector is working hard to use more solar energy as part of its move towards net zero.”

Beattie stressed that there is capacity for more roof space to be used for the generation of solar power in the agricultural sector and the wider business community, not just in Kent but across the UK. He cited a report issued in August 2022 by The UK Warehouse Association, which said the UK had at that time roof space for 15GW of new solar power, which would nearly double the UK’s solar PV capacity. This would meet the National Grid’s minimum requirements for solar expansion by 2030.

Rob James, technical director at Thanet Earth, added: “This was an important project for us as we work towards delivering our SBti target and onwards to net zero. Prior to this we had completed two carbon-reduction projects, but this was the most complex and it was delivered on target and with minimal impact on our operations.”