Whitbread, the UK’s biggest hospitality company, is extending its nationwide solar panels programme to a further 70 Premier Inn hotels, cementing the hotel chain’s position as a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency.
It is believed that following the latest installations, Premier Inn will have more sites with solar panels than any other hotel chain in the UK.
All the installations are being designed and managed by renewables developer, Anesco, with all works expected to be complete by the autumn.
The project comes on the back of a previous scheme, which saw Anesco installing solar panels on 88 Premier Inn hotels, between 2013-2015. The latest programme will see this portfolio extended, with up to 70 more sites fitted with solar PV panels.
The new installations will have a combined capacity of over 1.6MW. They will raise the total installed solar capacity on Premier Inn sites to over 3MW – which is equivalent to the energy needed to power around 2.9million* washing machine cycles – with panels fitted on over 20% of the chain’s hotels.
The entire solar portfolio will be monitored by Anesco’s in-house O&M service, AnescoMeter, which ensures the panels continue to operate at their optimum capacity.
Whitbread Director of Sustainability, James Pitcher, said: “Solar technology is a key part of our sustainability programme and helps ensure we always act as a force for good. As a long-term investment, solar is a fantastic proposition for us.
“We have seen from our previous work with Anesco that the technology is a great fit for us and with this project, we are further demonstrating our commitment to sustainable, environmentally-aware working practices.”
Steve Shine, Executive Chairman of Anesco, said: “We have been working with Whitbread since 2012 and are delighted to once again be putting our experience and technical expertise to use, to deliver this solar programme from design to installation through to operation and maintenance. Each scheme will be bespoke and designed so the maximum level of renewable energy is generated.”
Steve added: “What this project proves is that despite cuts to the feed in tariffs, solar is still a viable option for businesses. There continues to be a growing appetite among commercial organisations, for energy efficiency and renewable technologies, as a tried-and-tested model for reducing energy costs, while improving sustainability and lowering emissions.”
In 2017, Anesco’s solar farm portfolio exceeded a landmark 101 sites, while the company’s O&M service, AnescoMeter, is monitoring over 21,500 sites. As the UK market leader for utility scale energy storage, Anesco is on track to more than quadruple its operational battery portfolio by 2020, as its order book swells to 380MW.