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Case Study:
Walsh Mushrooms

Mushroom supplier benefits with 426kW of
solar panels

Walsh Mushrooms has been a key supplier of quality mushrooms to UK supermarkets for the last 40 years. They supply 500 tonnes of mushrooms to all sectors each week, accounting for over 17% of the UK market. Unsurprisingly, their packaging and distribution warehouse at Evesham has high energy requirements, using over 1,100,000 units of electricity per annum.

To continue their commitment towards sustainable mushroom development, the business decided to invest in business solar panels, which would help reduce their carbon footprint and running costs. Alan Walsh, Chairman of Walsh Mushrooms, received quotes from several suppliers. After discussions with Mypower (we were available day and night to answer their questions), Walsh Mushrooms invited us to put forward our proposals. After submitting several proposals and offering some robust practical advice to help demonstrate our knowledge and understanding, Mypower were awarded the business.

Mr Walsh confirmed: "Mypower’s price in the tender process was competitive and, following my research on their business and verifying their references, I awarded them the contract based on their professionalism and attention to detail and price, as well as their complete project management offering."

The initial contract was for 149.5kW, however towards completion, Mr Walsh's confidence in Mypower and solar grew, so he considered using additional roof space. An order was placed to add a further 99.28kW on condition that the full 248.78kW was completely installed, commissioned and all OFGEM applications submitted by 30th June 2015. Mypower's rapid response team pulled out all the stops and the system was commissioned on 17th June, with all forms submitted on 18th June 2015.

Key facts and predictions - figures updated to represent 2020 rates without subsidies

  • 426.81kW - installed by Mypower.
  • 362,473kWh - electricity produced per annum (site specific prediction from PV Sol, typically conservative by 2 to 10 %).
  • 92 tonnes - CO2 emissions avoided per annum.
  • £49,376 - projected first year income and savings assuming 90% of electricity is used on site.
  • 20.6% - projected first year return on capital invested, before capital allowance benefits.
  • 4.7 years - system payback before finance, tax and capital allowance benefits.
  • £2 million - total projected income and savings over 25 years after indexation.
  • 4.4 p/kWh - equivalent forward purchase price of 8.35M units of electricity over 25 years including operating and maintenance costs.


Exceeding projections

The system's output has exceeded predictions every year over the last 4 years by an average of 7.6% per annum.

Walsh Mushrooms

Walsh Mushrooms have now expanded further, constructing a new building on site. Due to the success of the solar panels on their original building, they commissioned Mypower to add a solar PV installation to their new building, bringing the total to 426.81kW

A detailed monitoring system showing a live feed of solar data is displayed in reception. It provides minute-by-minute, inverter-by-inverter figures on the performance of the solar PV. This intelligent system can send data anywhere, including to laptops and smart phones. Should a fault arise, the system will detect it and an email will be sent to Mypower and Walsh Mushrooms automatically so that the issue can be fixed promptly.

Mypower’s Ben Harrison detailed that the systems would produce 8.35 million units of electricity over 25 years, which is the equivalent of forward buying electricity at 4.4p per kWh. This compared to the current grid supplied price of more than double, at 14.5p per kWh. 

Ben commented: "It was a pleasure working with Alan as, between us, no stone was left unturned and the attention to detail during the discussion phase was phenomenal. The detailed preparation work has allowed the whole project to run very smoothly and efficiently in record breaking time".

 

“Making any new investment into technology that is an unknown to you takes a lot of research, meeting numerous suppliers and getting a consensus of target results to be achieved. After my detailed research I always felt a roll out to a bigger system was likely. I engaged with an engineer to help me with the final selection. Mypower’s price in the tender process was competitive and following my research on Mypower and verifying their references I awarded them the contract based on professionalism, attention to detail and price as well as their complete project management offering. Ben Harrison of Mypower worked hard to gain the order, planned and installed the system with a very high degree of professionalism. We are very happy with the results to date."

Alan Walsh, Chairman - Walsh Mushrooms

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