Solar Panels Save Cornish Garden Centre £100,000s on Energy Bills

A DEVON garden centre is set to slash its energy bills by almost £135,000 after it installed the largest, single roof-mounted solar panel network in northern Europe.

Trago Mills, near Newton Abbot, in the South West of England unveiled its £2million solar PV installation last week (February 15).

The 3,754 panel project should generate 778,862kWh of power to the store with any excess energy going directly to the national grid to supply the local area.

It is expected the system will halve the store's annual electricity bill of £266,000, and Trago Mills should see a return on investment in just seven years.

Trago Mills group chairman Bruce Robertson told the Herald Observer : "To have energy security on site for the future is tantamount to business security and that means we can guarantee the security of the jobs on the site which is a big issue these days.We set great store by our architectural theme of neo-gothic meets Disney, and the great virtue of this installation is unless you were told it was there, you would never know.”

As well as saving the store money, and the environment from fossil fuels, the solar installation has also helped secure the 450 jobs reliant on Trago Mills operating.

The panels, which took just under one month to install, cover every available space on the roof that is strong enough and unaffected by shade, but they cannot be seen from ground level.

Trago Mills also have two other sites, Falmouth and Liskeard and Devon Eco Energy, who installed the solar panels at this site, are looking to carry out solar panel installations at both those.

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