Well known West Country printer, Pepper Communications, have installed 100 kW of solar PV panels on the roof of their Plymouth HQ.
CleanEarth have completed several projects for printing businesses recently, showing how the print industry is embracing renewable energy generation.
No strangers to sustainability
Printers tend to be more familiar with environmental responsibility than many businesses, because paper recycling has been an issue for them for many years. And, as heavy users of electricity, they have also been early adopters of new technologies for energy efficiency and generation.
As Jake Whitford, Pepper’s Operations Director says, “We operate a very power hungry manufacturing plant, so our decision to invest in renewable energy will provide us with both significant energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint.”
That CO2 footprint will be 800 tonnes lighter over the 25-year life of the system, while the ability to generate their own power means Pepper will be less exposed to the risks of rising energy costs. The economics were also helped by CleanEarth securing funding support from the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund.
As a family-run business – four Whitford brothers are directors – the team at Pepper have a long-standing commitment to improving the environment in which they live and work, and are previous winners of the BPIF Environmental Printer of the Year award.
In addition to their investment in renewables, energy efficiency and waste management, they also encourage their customers to specify vegetable-based inks and papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
To help convey this message, CleanEarth installed a display in reception, so staff and customers can see the rate of generation from the solar PV, the carbon saving, and the savings on their electricity bills.
In order to strike the optimum balance between sustainabillity and the company’s return on investment, we also designed the system to ensure most of the generated electricity is consumed directly on-site.
The installation was planned and co-ordinated so that day-to-day operation of Pepper’s print and finishing facilities was not affected during the busy run-up to Christmas. The system was installed and commissioned within two weeks of starting work.
CleanEarth specified industry-leading Hanwha Q-Cell solar modules and SolarEdge inverters and optimisers to provide module-level monitoring and maximum performance over the system’s 25-year lifespan. Following completion, we will continue to monitor and maintain the system under an O&M contract.
Jake Whitford is delighted with how things went. “CleanEarth demonstrated professionalism from enquiry through to final completion,” he says. “The communication throughout was clearly defined, honest and professional. We will definitely be using them for future projects and highly recommend them to our business network.”