In a significant milestone for the building material’s supplier, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been introduced at Aggregate Industries' Hulland Ward concrete products site near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

A total of 944 solar panels have been installed on the site's rooftops – the biggest precast concrete manufacturing plant in the UK, where the company produces hard landscaping products, including paving, edging and kerbs for its Bradstone and Charcon ranges.

The project, managed by Regenerco with installation carried out by Aniron, can generate more than 415,000KWh of power per year, equating to 7% of the site’s annual power needs and resulting in a saving of 75 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The introduction of more renewable energy sources is a key part of the company’s net zero strategy which aims to achieve zero emissions before 2050.

Luke Olly, Head of Decarbonisation at Aggregate Industries UK, said: “Completing our first major solar project on one of our biggest sites is a key milestone for Aggregate Industries.

“To accelerate green growth and decarbonise the industry we must first decarbonise our own operations.

“Developing and growing our renewable energy capacity is a key component of our net zero strategy. Not only does it reduce emissions by helping us generate our own clean electricity it also helps lower costs.

“Hulland Ward marks the first of 30MW of renewable energy projects we have in the pipeline as part of our net zero strategy and ultimately, by 2035, we want to be producing 200GWh of our own clean electricity.”

Nigel Price, Director at Burton-based Regenerco, which developed the project installation, said: “It is fantastic to get this fully funded power purchase agreement over the line for Aggregate Industries to support them on their clean electricity needs.

“We now look forward to building on this success and getting the next planned projects to fruition, our job is to support AIUK to meet its net zero strategy.”