Leading British baker installs 1.28 MW of rooftop PV

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The U.K.’s largest bakery chain, Greggs, this week revealed that it has installed 1.28 MW of solar power atop the roofs of 10 of its bakeries as the company looks to lower its carbon footprint.

As one of the most recognizable and popular brands on the British high street (more prominent in the U.K. than McDonalds), Greggs has long had an influence on the dining habits of Britons, with this latest energy saving initiative sure to win the company plenty of plaudits.

Greggs’ social responsibility manager Stepehn Waldon said that not only would the company be making important savings on carbon emissions, but would also be eligible to benefit from the U.K.‘s feed-in tariff (FIT).

"As a responsible business, we have a duty to manage our energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient in our bakery and retail operations," said Waldon. "The installation of PV panels on our bakery roofs provided the perfect opportunity to make use of a previously unused space, take advantage of the government’s feed-in tariff scheme, and generate carbon-neutral electricity for use in the bakeries, reducing the amount of fossil fuel we need to buy and consume."

With reputation often as important as performance and product on the cut-throat world of the average British high street, Waldon was keen to stress that Greggs was eager to keep pursuing ever greener sustainability initiatives, targeting a 25% reduction in emissions by 2025.

"Solar PV is one of the most reliable renewable energies on the market, with proven technologies operating across the globe," Waldon added. "Installation makes a visible and public statement of an organization’s sustainable credentials, and provides a very reliable payback in terms of energy savings as well as the guaranteed and index-linked FIT scheme."

Despite the U.K. government set to roll back even further subsidies on solar power in the coming year, solar PV has enjoyed wider prominence in Britain in 2013, with Swedish furniture giants IKEA announcing earlier in the year that it will sell solar panels throughout its 17 U.K. stores.