Linney solar spend to pay back faster than expected

Simon Eccles
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Linney is set to pay back the £600,000 it invested in solar panels earlier this year in just over a year – far earlier than the original projection of almost five times as long.

The solar panels will generate 999,506kw per year
The solar panels will generate 999,506kw per year

The Nottinghamshire marketing services business installed 2,499 panels on the roof of one of its large manufacturing buildings in Mansfield, covering around 7,400sqm.

CEO Miles Linney told Printweek the projected period of payback "was nearly five years when we approved it” but that, since then, the rocketing price of electricity has accelerated the payback to just over one year.

The solar panels will generate 999,506kw per year, about 14.5% of its total electricity requirements. A second investment in solar is already underway, with another similar-sized system on another of its buildings.

The company was considering its power needs well before the latest price hikes. Its large site has a mix of litho and digital printing and finishing, as well as offering creative and digital media services and e-commerce.

Its longstanding environmental policies have played a part in energy reduction – in 2021 Linney became the largest UK print company to be accredited for Carbon Balanced Print, an initiative of the international conservation charity the World Land Trust.

Solar has joined a list of other energy-saving measures the company has implemented over the years: installing a biomass boiler to generate heating for all its warehouses; using heat recovery systems; swapping conventional lights to LEDs with PIR sensors to switch off when areas are empty; and installing quick-close external warehouse doors and using airlocks where appropriate to prevent heat loss.

Also; using a central air supply to reduce electricity consumption, as well as a reduction in heat and noise; using Piab technology to generate vacuum and compressed air at the machines from the central air compressors; and using compactors on waste to ensure that as little “fresh air” as possible is transported with it to recycling facilities – the company has a zero-to-landfill policy.

About ten years ago Linney also installed Power Factor Correction and Voltage Optimisation, which helps to cut usage by delivering stable power to the site and individual machines.

“We are also keeping a close eye on developing technologies such as combined heat and power and heat pumps with air or ground source,” said Linney.

“As well as all the clever technology we employ, we believe that understanding and behaviour plays a key part in saving, conserving, and recycling and we spend a lot of time and effort in the education and idea generation on this front.”

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