Video: Solar panels at SAPC

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St Austell Printing Company (SAPC) has made a significant investment in meeting its sustainability goals, by unveiling one of the largest roof-based solar panel arrays in Cornwall.

A total of 441 panels across two buildings at Carclaze will generate 130,000kWh per year – the equivalent of 40 domestic solar PV systems. It’s hoped that the 150kWp system will present a carbon-saving of at least 45 tonnes per year.

Operations manager, Beth Mayman, said: “We’re really excited about installing the solar panels, as it really meets the sustainability values of our company. It will supply all the energy needs for the units on our business park and a significant proportion of our printing factory. Any unused power will be sold back into the grid to be used by local homes and businesses in the St Austell area.”

After being based in the centre of St Austell for over 30 years, SAPC moved into its new-purpose built factory and business park on the outskirts of the town in 2013. The buildings were awarded an “excellent’ rating by BREEAM – the world’s leading sustainability assessment for buildings.

Mayman continued: “This is the latest in a range of projects to ensure we remain as sustainable as possible. Our buildings harvest rainwater, we maximise natural ventilation and daylight, and limit heat loss through insulation.

“From a printing point of view, we use vegetable-based inks, recycle 100% of our paper waste and our brand new press uses LED-UV instant drying technology – making it one of the most environmentally-friendly presses available.”

SAPC is also in the process of investigating the installation of electric car charging points and LED lighting across the buildings.

The installation was completed over two weeks by Wadebridge-based Clean Earth Energy after a feasibility study by BRE Group. As well as SAPC, the business park is home to prominent local businesses including St Austell Conference Centre, Coodes Solicitors, Aspire Academy Trust and Peninsula Learning Trust.