William Hughes goes solar with Low Carbon Dorset – saving energy costs and reducing its carbon footprint

The installation of a large Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic System is well under way at the Stalbridge manufacturing facility of William Hughes Ltd. Representing an investment of over £250,000, the system will help this specialist manufacturer of springs and bent wire components save energy costs and significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

Supplied by Dorset Solar Ltd and part funded by Low Carbon Dorset as part of the European Regional Development Fund, the installation is the largest solar array on one site that Low Carbon Dorset has helped fund to date. The system comprises 1,300 solar panels generating 420kWp, producing an annual yield of 397,462 kWp. The electricity it generates, will help to power the William Hughes factory and offices, and is projected to save over 96,722Kg of CO² from the Dorset air each year.

Dr. Erik Blakeley - project technical officer for Low Carbon Dorset said, "Setting up a large roof top photo voltaic (PV) array for a factory is more complicated than it might appear. The new loads on the roof have to be considered, the setting up of structures within the organisation to administer the array takes time, and deciding between numerous potential installers in a fair and objective way is not always simple. The fact that Wm Hughes Ltd has stuck to its guns during the Covid-19 pandemic, shows a remarkable determination to achieve the very significant carbon savings produced not to mention the confidence to commit to their large share of the cost. It is therefore much to the credit of the firm that we are now seeing this large project come to fruition. It is very important that more follow where they have led."

Max Hughes, Managing Director at William Hughes added, "As a growing forward-looking company and significant energy user, we are continually striving to reduce our carbon footprint by following an eco-friendly agenda. This significant investment in such a large-scale solar panel system makes a strong statement about our company ethos. As well as strengthening our environmental credentials, the project is projected to recover the capital costs in 6 years and will significantly reduce energy costs at the plant. Based on our positive experiences, I strongly believe more businesses should follow our example to move to greener and more efficient ways of generating energy."

William Hughes specialises in the design and manufacture of custom-made springs, wire forms and welding assemblies. As a global supplier of components to the automotive, aerospace and medical industries the company has factories in Stalbridge, Dorset, UK, Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Tychy in southern Poland. William Hughes combines modern technology with traditional skills to bring products to market in the most refined, cost-effective and timely way possible.