One of the largest installation of rooftop solar panels in the Borders has been installed at the former Barbour factory in Tweedbank.
It’s apt that the building now plays host to the Borders Renewable Centre – home to several businesses – and their landlord, Cameron Crawford of JSC Estates, says he hopes to roll out the initiative to all of the company’s buildings across the Borders.
The solar panels cover 45,000 square feet, more than half the area of a football pitch, and puts out 199kw of power.
Mr Crawford said: “This was an exciting project as we wanted to provide eco-friendly and sustainable units providing green powerm, so that all our tenants can be environmentally-conscious of their carbon footprint.
“We’re looking to roll out future projects to allow the remainder of our portfolio to have the option of green energy as well.
“It’s such an important issue that we all need to take responsibility for. Clean, green, renewable energy is the way forward.”
He told us one of the companies in the building – food testing laboratory Eurofins – gave him the idea to take the project on.
He said: “They have incubation units for cultures, which are a massive drain on their power, so I thought why don’t we look at green power?
“In fact all, the businesses there want to minimise their carbon footprint ... it is more important than ever to have green credentials.”
Renew Green Energy is also based there and its managing director Brian Middleton said: “It’s very exciting for us because of the potential for the client to save money, and clearly it’s so much better for the environment.
“It’s all about savings and reducing carbon footprint for companies who have a conscience.
“It’s good business acumen. The cost of electricity now versus 30 years time against future bills will only go up, so it’s important to take action now. In fact, when you look at the current electricity cost versus the cost in 10 years, we predict a rise in at least 60%, so by installing solar energy now you will be reducing your annual running costs and futureproof your energy costs long term.”
The Tweedbank array cost around £155,000, but Mr Crawford says he hopes it will have paid it back in around six years.
He added: “We are determined to be proactive in reducing the carbon footprint of our business.”