We’re all too aware of the pressures to improve CSR credentials and serious initiatives such as COP21 and RE100 have put carbon emissions reduction firmly back on the agenda for many businesses.
Switching to renewable energy can certainly help organisations gain a greener competitive edge but do I think that any of the largest companies in the world are going to make a decision to pay more for electricity just because it’s green?
I’d say that would be a great way to make sure that they are NOT going to be one of the largest companies in the world for very long.
I can assure you that no CEO, CFO or COO has ever woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat having had an epiphany that they want to buy green electricity that’s more expensive than what they are currently paying.
Green energy has to be competitively priced otherwise it’s no more than a niche gimmick and not a serious alternative to so-called conventional power.
So, what if there was a solution that didn’t cost the earth – literally? Well there is and it’s as simple as the sun rising and setting; we call it a solar private wire.
In simple terms, a private wire project provides businesses their own, exclusive solar power-station which is “hardwired” into their electricity supply.
Choosing to procure solar electricity in this way gives businesses the perfect long-term hedging strategy against rising costs in a volatile energy market – with a direct source of cheaper, renewable electricity, whilst all the while improving their green credentials.
Lightsource’s approach is to bring renewable power to businesses from an off-site location. We will develop, own and operate the solar farm on your behalf. This means businesses will benefit from low cost, low carbon, locally generated electricity with no operational risk and with no capital cost.
All the business has to do is commit to a long term agreement to buy cheaper, greener power with us, just like Belfast international Airport for example.
They now get around a third of their annual electricity demand via their solar private wire; reducing their carbon emission by 2,100 tonnes per annum.
That’s equivalent to taking 469 cars off the road each year. Not only this, the airport’s operational costs were down 23% within the first month too.
The Bentley Motors factory in Crewe, is another great example of a private wire in practice. Lightsource funded this project for £5.5 million, installing more than 20,000 solar panel on Bentley’s factory roof.
And the results?
Bentley meet 15% of their annual on-site electricity demand, with a 40% summer demand, reducing their C02 emissions by 2,500 tonnes per year and at a price that significantly undercuts their grid-supplied electricity!
As technologies and innovations continue to grow, distributed, low carbon energy generation is fast replacing the centralised, fossil fuel based power stations that once dominated the market.
At Lightsource, we know first-hand how businesses both big and small are seeing the benefits of a private wire connection and how solar power can be the answer for many organisations looking to enhance their green ambitions.
Green can’t just be a badge.
Green must be something which fits in with your overall business needs, so it has to be cheaper, better or both.
Nick Boyle is the CEO of Lightsource
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