Wednesday, August 24, 2011

News: Green investment points to a bright future at Magna


Solar panels covering an area equivalent to half a football pitch have been installed at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.

The 2,155 photovoltaic panels on the visitor attraction's roof are expected to save £16,000 in electricity bills in the first year alone. And they are just the start of moves to become more sustainable, with plans for wind power and grey-water harvesting in the pipeline.

The solar panels, which were installed by Rotherham-based WS Systems, cover more than 3,000 square metres on the south-facing roof, making it one of the biggest solar photovoltaic projects in the region.

Scott Newhouse, chief operating officer at WS Systems, said: "The project was always going to be challenging working with a building that is over 100 years old, but we overcame all the obstacles.

"It makes sense for businesses to use their roofs to save money and slowly more and more are turning to solar power to cut their electricity bills."

James Smith, facilities manager at Magna, added: "We will be saving about 92 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. But the energy we now receive from the solar panels is just the start of the sustainability plans we have in place.

"We are working with WS Systems and looking at erecting a 70 metre tall wind turbine near the coach park, because we get strong winds down the west side of the building. We also want to introduce grey-water harvesting, where we use rain water that runs off the roof to flush the 96 toilets.

"All this means not only could we save electricity and water, but also do our bit to save the planet."

The green credentials of the UK's first science adventure centre are a far cry from the days when Magna's site at Templeborough operated as a steelworks which was known locally as Steelos. Then there were six electric arc furnaces housed within the huge building with each melt using 750 million units of electricity – enough to power a small town such as Doncaster.

In contrast the electricity being generated at Magna by the solar panels could power about 40 average-sized homes.

Magna website
WS Systems website

Images: Magna


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