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Carbon savings through solar panels

12 Nov 2015



·   Project to install solar panels at UK Bus depots to reduce carbon footprint and operating costs

·   Innovative initiative underway with partners Visolaris and REI

·   20-year project to potentially save 3million kgCO2


Stagecoach Group has announced plans to deliver further carbon savings at its UK Bus division through the use of solar power.


The Perth-based company is driving forward an innovative initiative to have solar panels installed at a number of its bus depots across the UK.


Working with partners renewable energy company Visolaris and the Renewable Energy Investment (REI), solar panels have been fitted to Stagecoach’s Chesterfield depot and work is underway to install the energy saving technology at the company’s Daw Bank bus depot in Stockport.


It is anticipated that the project will also be rolled out to other Stagecoach depots across the UK, helping to reduce carbon emissions and costs by generating a significant proportion of clean green renewable electricity.


Virtually all of the locally generated electricity will be used by each site and will significantly reduce each depot’s electricity bills, thereby enabling Stagecoach to gain greater security and certainty over their future electricity costs.


Any spare electricity will also be sold back to the National Grid by partners Visolaris and REI.


Over the 20-year period of the agreements it is thought that, between the Chesterfield and Daw Bank sites alone, more than 3million kgCO2 could be saved, with potential financial savings of up to £1.1million.


Chesterfield will benefit from a 250 kilowatt peak (kWp) installation of 962 solar panels while in Stockport a 280kWp system of 1076 solar panels will be fitted.


Stagecoach Regional Director Sam Greer said: “This is a new and innovative project that we believe will, over time, help us to reduce our carbon footprint further as well as making financial savings.


“This is an example of how we can benefit from new technology at our existing sites to help minimise the impact of our operations on the environment and play our part in tackling the global challenge of climate change.”


Visolaris CEO Charles Hesketh said: “Visolaris are delighted to be working with Stagecoach Group to help meet their environmental targets over the coming years.  Reducing electricity bills and cutting harmful CO2 emissions should be the objective of every company in the UK.  Doing so without any capital outlay makes it all the more appealing”. 


REI Managing Director Simon Booth said:  “Our solar power purchase scheme is ideally suited to organisations like Stagecoach who wished to preserve their own capital to invest in their core operational business, whilst identifying there existed a significant opportunity to reduce their electricity bills and cut their carbon emissions”


The project is part of Stagecoach’s stretching environmental targets over the coming years. Earlier this year the Group launched its new five-year strategy, Shared responsibility, shared future, which has been produced in partnership with the Carbon Trust and sets out a package of investments at the Group’s bus and rail businesses.


It follows a 30% reduction in Stagecoach Group’s carbon intensity since 2007-08 and the achievement of previous targets 12 months ahead of schedule.

In 2013-2014, Stagecoach had a total carbon footprint of 1,563,000 tCO2e, a water footprint of 835,000 m3, a waste footprint of 10,200 tonnes and a waste recycling rate of 77%

By April 2019, the Group is aiming to:

  • reduce buildings carbon emissions by 7%
  • cut like-for-like fleet transport carbon emissions by 2%
  • lower water consumption by 9%
  • achieve a waste recycling rate of 83%

Stagecoach Group has already been awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its global carbon footprint, becoming the first public transport operator to have its boundaries certified outside of Europe.