First Bus invests £2.5 million in solar power for depots

Posted: 24 April 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of its net zero emissions strategy, First Bus has installed over 6,000 solar photovoltaic panels, paving the way for the company to become self-sustaining, while reducing its carbon footprint.

First Bus invests £2.5 million in solar power for depots

Credit: First Bus

First Bus has announced that it has invested £2.5 million in solar power with the installation of over 6,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels across 20 depot sites as part of its net zero emissions strategy.

This investment is the latest step in First Bus’ pledge to reduce the overall emissions generated by its bus operations, as it looks to achieve the ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. This sits alongside its goal of achieving a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

First Bus is on a mission to make its depots self-sustaining – with the solar PV panels enabling the 20 sites to generate their own renewable power for lighting, heating, office equipment and the engineering bays.

The move will not only help local bus operations by reducing costs, but it will also significantly reduce each site’s need to draw power from their local grid.

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The solar PV panels that have already been installed have been fitted to various areas of the roof on site, such as the engineering workshops, covering an approximate area of over 11,000 square metres. At peak output these will produce some two million kWh of energy a year – enough to power around 700 standard three bedroom homes (based on assumption that a standard 3-bedroom home consumes around three million kWh per year).

Jon Tivey, Head of Environment for First Bus UK, said: “We are delighted to announce the roll-out of our solar PV programme across the UK, which will help us to significantly reduce our carbon emissions across 20 sites. This is yet another milestone in our transition to a low-carbon future across every aspect of our operations. As one of the largest bus operators in the UK, it’s important that we lead the way in the industry and set an example for others to follow.”

The panels are being installed and fitted by Manchester-based solar PV suppliers CorEnergy UK, with work on many of the sites already underway. The entire project will be complete by mid-June 2023.

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