Innomech eyes carbon neutral target
A company specialising in automation for manufacturing clients has invested heavily in solar power that will make it carbon neutral by the end of the year. Based in the Cambridge UK technology cluster, GB Innomech’s new solar PV system will generate sufficient energy to fully meet its annual energy consumption of around 45,000 kWh.
That figure is already significantly lower than might be expected for a building or company of comparable size because Innomech relies exclusively on energy-efficient geothermal heating, ventilation and lighting systems. The new solar power system is being supplied and installed by Solarbase Energy from Grantham, Lincolnshire. The first phase, comprising 141 hidden roof-mounted panels and each measuring 1 x 1.5 metres, has already been completed to deliver around half of Innomech’s annual power consumption.
A series of ground-mounted units, around the edge of the site alongside hedges planted as part of the wildlife management scheme, will be installed by the end of the month. The complete system is expected to pay for itself within six years. Tim Mead, commercial director at Innomech, said: “Innomech has always been committed to minimising the environmental impact of its business and uses clean technologies wherever possible, provided they have commercially-acceptable payback times.
“Our own eco-friendly building already incorporates multiple technologies for more efficient energy use and waste management so investing in a full solar power system is a very natural next step for us.”
The Innovation Centre, the company’s dedicated headquarters at Witchford, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, secured three industry awards for its environmentally-friendly design when it opened in 2004.
The building was designed in-house at a time when architects and construction companies charged huge premiums to incorporate even the simplest sustainable or energy-saving technologies.
All installed technologies and systems were specifically chosen by Innomech to minimise the environmental foot print and reduce the running costs to a minimum without compromising the commercial operation. Innomech is also a member of the World Society of Sustainable Technologies.
The company specialises in automating highly complex and labour-intensive manufacturing processes to maximise outputs, improve product quality and boost business performance.
It works with major international manufacturers in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and environmental, as well as earlier-stage businesses looking to bring breakthrough technologies or products to market.
• PHOTOGRAPH: Innomech has had 141 roof-mounted solar panels fitted to deliver around half its electricity needs. Photo courtesy alan [at] acphotographic.com