The installations follow a previous programme in which the firm installed PV systems on 88 of its popular Premier Inns across the country between 2013 and 2015. With the new systems in place, around 20 per cent of the UK’s 750 Premier Inns will feature solar panels.
According to renewables firm Anesco, which will design and manage the installations, the new installations will have a combined capacity of over 1.6 MW, raising the total installed solar capacity on Premier Inn sites to over 3 MW.
Anesco said the work is expected to be completed by the autumn, adding that the complete solar portfolio will be monitored for efficiency by its in-house O&M service.
James Pitcher, Whitbread’s sustainability director, 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, Anesco’s executive chair, added: “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.
“What this project proves is that despite cuts to the UK’s feed-in tariffs, solar is still a viable option for businesses. There continues to be a growing appetite among commercial organizations for energy efficiency and renewable technologies, as a tried-and-tested model for reducing energy costs while improving sustainability and lowering emissions.”