Solar-powered depots for Stagecoach

Stagecoach Group has fitted solar panels at its Chesterfield depot and work is underway to install the technology at the Daw Bank bus depot in Stockport as part of a plan to deliver carbon savings for the group.

It is anticipated that the project will be rolled out to other Stagecoach depots across the UK to generate a significant proportion of renewable electricity. Virtually all of the locally-generated electricity will be used by each site to reduce each depot’s electricity bills and to provide Stagecoach with greater security and certainty over their future electricity costs.

Any spare electricity will also be sold back to the National Grid by its partners Visolaris and Renewable Energy Investment.

Over the 20-year period of the agreements it estimates that the Chesterfield and Daw Bank sites will save more than 3million kg of CO2, with potential financial savings of up to £1.1million.

Chesterfield will see a 250 kilowatt peak (kWp) installation of 962 solar panels while in Stockport a 280kWp system of 1,076 solar panels will be fitted.

“This is a new and innovative project that we believe will, over time, help us to reduce our carbon footprint further as well as making financial savings,” says Stagecoach regional director Sam Greer.

“This is an example of how we can benefit from new technology at our existing sites to help minimise the impact of our operations on the environment and play our part in tackling the global challenge of climate change.”

REI managing director Simon Booth adds: “Our solar power purchase scheme is ideally suited to organisations like Stagecoach who wished to preserve their own capital to invest in their core operational business, whilst identifying there existed a significant opportunity to reduce their electricity bills and cut their carbon emissions”

By April 2019, the Group is aiming to reduce buildings carbon emissions by 7 per cent; cut like-for-like fleet transport carbon emissions by 2 per cent; lower water consumption by 9 per cent; and achieve a waste recycling rate of 83 per cent.

Stagecoach Group has already been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its global carbon footprint, becoming the first public transport operator to have its boundaries certified outside of Europe.