Stagecoach bus depots to light up with solar

The Stagecoach Group has announced plans to install solar panels at a number of its bus depots across the UK.

Working with partners Visolaris and the Renewable Energy Investment (REI), solar panels have been fitted to Stagecoach’s Chesterfield depot and work is underway to install the energy saving technology at the company’s Daw Bank bus depot in Stockport.

The Chesterfield bus depot has a 250 kilowatt peak (kWp) installation of 962 solar panels, while in Stockport a 280kWp system of 1076 solar panels will be fitted.

The coach company is also now planning to roll out solar panels to other Stagecoach depots across the UK.

Any spare electricity generated by the panels will also be sold back to the National Grid by partners Visolaris and REI.

“This is a new and innovative project that we believe will, over time, help us to reduce our carbon footprint further as well as making financial savings,” said Stagecoach Regional Director, Sam Greer.

“This is an example of how we can benefit from new technology at our existing sites to help minimise the impact of our operations on the environment and play our part in tackling the global challenge of climate change.”

Earlier this year the Group launched its new five-year strategy, Shared responsibility, shared future, which has been produced in partnership with the Carbon Trust and sets out a package of investments at the Group’s bus and rail businesses.

By April 2019, the Group is aiming to reduce buildings carbon emissions by 7% and achieve a waste recycling rate of 83%.

Visolaris CEO Charles Hesketh added: “Visolaris are delighted to be working with Stagecoach Group to help meet their environmental targets over the coming years. Reducing electricity bills and cutting harmful CO2 emissions should be the objective of every company in the UK. Doing so without any capital outlay makes it all the more appealing.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues