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Smart Architectural Aluminium and Centrica agree major solar power purchase agreement

Smart Architectural Aluminium, the UK’s leading architectural aluminium manufacturer, is set for a more sustainable future after Centrica Business Solutions agreed a long-term lease for a solar array on the roof of its UK headquarters

Centrica Business Solutions has started construction on the 7,000 solar panel array, across the roofs of three buildings at the manufacturing site in Yatton, near Bristol.

The 2.94MW installation is the result of a long -term lease agreement between Smart and Centrica Business Solutions, which will see Centrica lease the roof space, finance the project and agree a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Smart for the green electricity produced on site.

This gives Smart price certainty and access to green electricity without any capital outlay, simultaneously it will reduce operational CO2 emissions by 588 tonnes every year.

The deal provides Smart with 2.7GWh of green, reliable energy every year for the next 25 years, meaning 20% of the site’s current energy requirements will be fulfilled by the array. The mounting for each of the 7,084 solar panels (each 415W) will be fabricated on site.

Construction has begun on site with the project set to be completed in spring 2024 as the business aims for carbon neutrality across its operations.

Justin Jacober, managing director at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The project with Smart Architectural Aluminium represents one of our largest roof top solar arrays to date and we’re delighted to help them to meet their decarbonisation ambition. We want to continue supporting organisations with their sustainability challenges, this in turn creates more resilient businesses that can stand the test of time as well as reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels - accelerating our journey towards net zero.

“To be able to finance this deal in a zero capital way, is an incredibly attractive package for many businesses, who are wrestling with the balance between planet and profit, our message is you don’t need to make it a binary choice, you can do both.”

Dean Thomas, managing director at Smart, said: “We’re excited to be working alongside Centrica to facilitate a significant portion of our energy demand from the roofs over our heads.

“Our net zero ambitions are at the heart of our growth strategy, and once construction is complete it will be great to know that a huge proportion of our future energy use will be both carbon neutral and affordable.”

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