Local builders' firm aims to save £1m. with roof top solar panels

A Derry firm has installed rooftop solar panels at its premises in a move that will help save it almost £1 million.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 8:11 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 9:16 am
Pictured, from left, with a section of solar panels, are, Gerry Conway, Financial Director, Murdock Builders Merchants; Ann Morgan, CEO Murdock Builders Merchants; and Kevin McCarthy, Business Development Manager, Kingspan ESB.

Murdock Builders’ Merchants has had 192 PV panels fixed to the roof of its Derry branch, which is located in the city’s Skeoge Industrial Estate on the Beraghmore Road.

Murdock’s was established in 1982 and has 11 branches across Ireland - nine of which are in Northern Ireland - employing more than 270 staff.

The family-owned company operates as a ‘one stop shop’ for the construction sector and supplies to both the building trade and the general public.

Murdock’s will make savings from the first day the rooftop PV systems ‘go live’, even though the company has not had to make any financial investment in them.

The company has opted for a 100 per cent fully-funded scheme which means that, in return for a 25-year lease on the roof space, Kingspan ESB designs, installs and maintains the systems.

The electricity generated by them is then supplied to Murdock Builders’ Merchants at lower rates than the grid.

The new PV systems, totalling 233kW, will generate more than 4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green electricity during their 25 year lifetimes and, over that time, Murdock’s will make cost-savings of £943,000.

As well as having financial benefits, the systems are cleaner and greener - helping to offset more than 2130 tonnes of CO2 in their lifespan.

Ann Morgan, CEO of Murdock Builders’ Merchants, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve and innovate at Murdock’s.

“It made complete sense for us to take advantage of the Kingspan ESB fully-funded option on solar PV and make immediate savings for the business.

“We’re delighted to be using new technology which is helping us operate in a more environmentally friendly way - our new PV panels will produce more than 185,000kWh of green energy in their first year.”

Mel Courtney, Director at Kingspan ESB, said: “Rooftop solar panel electricity systems are one of the simplest renewable energy technologies to install and own - they have a long operational lifespan and don’t need a lot of maintenance.

“Photovoltaic, or PV, cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity and they can still perform well in our climate.

“The 100% funded package, like this one Murdock’s has opted for, means a business makes no upfront capital investment but, once the system is up and running, starts to makes significant savings on power bills,” said Mr. Courtney.