The future of commercial rooftop solar is lightweight

Mar 14, 2024

As featured in UKWA, Page 40.

With 40% of commercial buildings unable to take the weight of conventional solar – the future of commercial rooftop solar is lightweight.

Solivus, creators of light-weight solar innovations, are on a mission to decarbonise the built environment, which causes over 40% of the world’s CO2 problem.

In the past two years, there’s been a shift in focus to meeting ESG targets in the commercial real estate sector. Incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar power, enables the creation of clean energy on-site, reduces reliance on traditional energy sources, increases energy independence and cuts energy bills.

As of April 1, 2023, compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) is essential for commercial property owners in the UK, to achieve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and avoid potential penalties.

MEES is implemented in the UK to enhance the energy efficiency of commercial property, and reduce carbon emissions, in order to meet climate change targets, such as the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050. MEES standards are applicable to both residential and non-residential properties, ensuring such buildings meet minimum energy performance criteria.

The requirement for non-domestic landlords to obtain at least an EPC E rating (unless they have registered a valid exemption), now applies to all non-domestic rented properties, even when there has been no change in tenancy. Failure to meet such requirements could result in a fine of up to £150,000 per building.

Latest News: Solivus to supply lightweight solar to cut Astute’s energy costs

Solivus has recently signed a contract with Astute Electronics to complete a lightweight solar installation on the warehouse at their UK HQ in Stevenage, Herts. Astute are a global electronics components distributor and logistics provider, serving major customers across defence, aerospace, maritime, energy, and industrial sectors.

Astute is Planet Mark certified and committed to a Net Zero programme, so they were keen to speak to Solivus about energy savings. Early surveys informed Astute that a traditional solar-panel system could not be installed as the panels would be too heavy for the warehouse roof.

Solivus outlined their end-to-end solution: from system design and planning, finance, installation, and ongoing maintenance. Solivus presented the proposed costs to Astute who realised the significant energy savings over the lifetime may amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Sales and Marketing Director at Astute, Mark Shanley comments: “Astute has a knack for working with cutting-edge products. We were impressed by Solivus and their innovative, skin-like solar panels, which can be fitted to the roof of our warehouse; space we previously thought was unusable. With Astute’s focus on energy independence, we’re looking forward to reaping both environmental and sustainability benefits over the next five years and beyond.”

The installationis set to meet over 25% of the building’s energy demand, whilst reducing costs and Astute’s carbon footprint substantially. The project will also ensure minimal disruption to the warehouse internally.

Solivus CEO, Jo Parker-Swift says: “Astute’s focus on agility, passion and innovation and their mission to provide unrivalled service resonates strongly with us here at Solivus, chiming with our own values. We are delighted to be working on this project with Astute, who have been early supporters of Solivus’ innovative technology.”

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