Renewable energy

Renewable energy

Solar energy to power depots and substations.

In October 2019, we changed our electricity supply to 100% renewable energy. Electricity for our operational substations and most of our offices and depots is generated from a mix of wind and hydro, which saved 5,492 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the first 12 months.

But our aim is to achieve net zero carbon by transforming our estate to be as energy efficient as possible, and to use a combination of on-site and off-site generation to meet our energy demand.

Starting with two depots, our training academy in Blackburn and our depot in Oldham, we are testing and demonstrating a number of solutions to assess their suitability and relative benefits.

These include ground-mounted solar panels; car port solar panels; upgraded insulation, windows and ventilation; air source or ground source heat pumps; new radiators and LED lighting.

We have installed a hybrid roof-mounted solar PV system at our Blackburn depot at multiple locations, which together generate around 39,260 kWh of electricity and avoid 7.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year.

Our plan is to continue with our solar installation at Blackburn and the nearby training academy to include three additional roof-mounted systems and solar car ports which will make the training academy site net zero. Once complete we expect to generate 124,663kWh of electricity a year which will avoid 24.1 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

We have also installed 128 ground-mounted solar panels at our Thorley Lane primary substation at the south Manchester enterprise zone, the first self-sufficient low carbon substation in the North West. The panels are expected to generate 35,396 kWh per year and save 6.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent. In 2023 we will complete a second low carbon substation at the Lancashire enterprise zone in Samlesbury.

For more details, please download our case study.

Case study

Useful links

Microgeneration certification scheme

Renewable generation recommended installers.


Renewable energy hub

Directory of installers and professionals.