22nd April 2016
As part of our commitment to alternative energy sources I’m pleased to announce, in celebration of Earth Day 2016, that Virgin Media's first Solar PV system has been installed at our Bristol site. This is our first onsite renewable energy project and I’m personally excited about monitoring its performance and learning about the potential for rolling it out to other sites in our estate.
This project has involved a number of teams from across our organisation all of whom have played a key role in the stages of this project. This includes identifying which of our sites were viable for Solar PV, obtaining internal and external approval for the project and seeing it through to fruition with minimal disruption.
The installation on our Bristol site (a 36.20kW system), includes 127 roof-mounted panels. This solar PV system will take energy from the sun and use it to feed electricity into the site, 365 days a year (well, thereabouts given the unpredictable British weather).
We’re expecting to produce more power in the summer months, nearly 25% of the site’s energy requirement, which is when our sites consume greater amounts of energy, as our cooling systems need to work hard to keep the technical rooms at the right operating temperature. However, the panels will allow us to produce renewable energy onsite throughout the year.
This project is expected to create enough power from the sun to save us from purchasing 34,344kWh of electricity annually (saving over £60,000 during the lifetime of the panels, which is approximately 20 years). It’s a great project and I hope its success as our first Solar PV pilot will enable us to install other green energy systems across our estate as part of our Lower Impact 2020 sustainability goal.