Eastbourne Arndale Centre’s roof may have gone green but it’s also been given the thumbs up from the town’s Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd.
Stephen ventured onto the roof to see the 360 solar panels that have been installed to create electricity and help reduce carbon emissions for future generations.
The panels, that took six weeks to install, work by capturing the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells.
They don’t need direct sunlight to work, but instead can generate electricity even on a cloudy day.
The cells convert the sunlight into electricity which lights the centre’s car park.
As well as installing solar panels on the roof, Legal and General’s planned £85 million extension to the Arndale Centre, with an additional 22 retail units, seven restaurants and a multi-screen cinema, will also be sustainable.
Stephen said, “I was hugely impressed with the sheer scale of the solar installation on the Arndale Centre roof and best of all is that it will pay for itself within a few years.
“The installers, Converteco Solar, have done a superb job.
“All in all, a cracking example of how Eastbourne is taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the green economy.”
Debbie Hobbs at Legal andGeneral Property said, “The Arndale Centre extension is designed and will be built to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating under the latest BREEAM 2014 New Construction Scheme.
“BREEAM is the world’s leading environmental assessment methodology for benchmarking sustainable buildings.
“The building utilises responsibly sourced materials and encourages the use of sustainable transportation modes.
“The procurement process has included extensive consultation and stakeholder participation, and there is a commitment to carry out post occupancy evaluation to gauge and monitor user satisfaction post occupation.
“As part of the scheme design it has been proposed the central atrium would be a naturally ventilated, semi-exposed space.
“This would result in significant energy and cost savings for the development throughout its operation.
“ In addition to the existing vast array of photovoltaic (PV) panels already installed, an additional circa 400 square metre roof area is allocated for further PV installation.
“In order to help ensure the delivery of an overall sustainable development, energy efficient fit-out will be encouraged by the developer through the provision of technical support and a tenant fit-out guide.”
Eastbourne Arndale Centre manager Bill Plumridge said, “Solar electricity is green and doesn’t release any harmful pollutants so we are reducing the Centre’s carbon footprint by saving over 204 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.”
Eastbourne company Converteco Solar designed, supplied and installed the 19kg panels that will generate enough electricity to power the centre’s car park all year round.
The installation was the culmination of eight months’ preparation and intricate planning by Converteco Solar directors Con Cronin and Rob Gellatly.
Con said, “The panels looked incredible once they were installed and great to see our local centre making the decision to invest in renewable energy.”