BeBa Energy has completed one of Kent’s largest rooftop solar arrays for Britain’s leading glasshouse grower Thanet Earth.

The 1,054.9kW system on its packhouse and office buildings at Birchington will generate just under one thousand megawatt hours of clean electricity per year, enough energy to power 750 homes.

Thanet Earth is expected to use more than 80% of the energy produced by the 2,740 solvar PV panels, with the remainder being exported to the local grid, significantly reducing the amount of electricity used from the National Grid. Solar power now contributes around 32% of the total power used at the packhouse.

Shaun Beattie, director at BeBa Energy, said the installation was expected to reduce the business’ carbon footprint by nearly 190,000kg each year. “We have now completed several installations of a similar size or larger for major horticulture and agriculture businesses in the county and the sector is working hard to use more solar energy as part of its move towards net zero,” he added.

Shaun went on: “There is capacity for more roof space to be used for the generation of solar power in the agricultural sector and the wider business community, not just in Kent but across the UK.

“A report issued in August 2022 by The UK Warehouse Association said the UK had at that time roof space for 15GW of new solar power which would nearly double the UK’s solar PV capacity. This would meet National Grid’s minimum requirements for solar expansion by 2030.

“To date the UK has deployed around 17GW of solar, with a further 3GW forecast to be added this year.”