Bentley lights up Crewe factory with UK’s largest rooftop solar panel system

2 Apr 2013

The bentley solar panel system in Crewe, Cheshire

Iconic car maker Bentley is driving its sustainability agenda, as the company is about to connect what it is terming the UK’s largest rooftop solar panel system at its factory in Crewe, Cheshire.

More than 20,000 solar panels with a capacity of 5 megawatts (MW) have been fixed to the roof of Bentley’s factory in Crewe to make use of 3.45 hectares of roof space.

Lightsource Renewable Energy will own and operate the solar panel system, which Bentley believes will produce up to 40pc of the factory’s energy requirements at peak generation times.

According to Bentley, the solar panel array will generate enough energy with the capacity to power more than 1,200 households.

The company believes the system will also help reduce its CO2 usage by more than 2,500 tonnes per year.  

Michael Straughan, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing, said the Crewe plant, which was built in the 1940s, is ideally suited to harness solar power as the ‘saw tooth’ factory roofs are south-facing at an angle of 20 degrees.

“The panels will reduce our energy costs and help ensure that our manufacturing operations in Crewe are efficient, sustainable and globally competitive,” said Straughan.

Bentley has signed a power purchase agreement with Lightsource Energy, which will supply the renewable electricity to the car maker.

The company employs around 4,000 people at its Crewe base.

Bentley solar panel installations

The solar panel rooftop installation at Bentley’s Crewe, Cheshire, factory

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic