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Solar Panels Installed At Trago Mills

Trago Mills has three outlets with one being located near Newton Abbot in South Devon being set in 110 acres of countryside and provides discounted shopping offering a range of products as well as a leisure park. It claims to have had installed Northern Europe’s biggest solar panel array system that is mounted on a single roof.

Trago Mills garden centre
(image credit: missy & the universe)

The installation project was vast with 3,754 solar panels being fitted at a cost of in excess of £2 million. The solar panels are expected to generate power totalling 778,862 kWh with any surplus electricity being sold back to the National Grid.

At the moment Trago Mills spends £266,000 per annum on electricity and it is expected that this figure will reduce by 50 per cent. During the summer period the solar panels will provide all the power that the store will require.

It is estimated that it will take 7 years to recoup the initial cost of the scheme.

Bruce Robertson, who is the Chairman of Trago Mills, felt that one of the benefits of having had the solar panels installed was that it should provide job security for the 450 people that are employed at Newton Abbot. In addition the outlet also houses almost 150 “trading partners” who run their own businesses.

None of the solar panels are visible from people stood at ground floor level. Another benefit to customers at Trago Mills is that they will be able to observe a visual display of the energy being generated and, who knows, this may encourage some people to consider installing solar panels.

The solar panels collectively weigh 93 tons and took a month to install by Devon Eco Energy that is actually based at Trago Mills. Devon Eco Energy has only been established for 14 months and this is by far the largest project they have completed. Their staffing levels have increased from 10 to 45 part and full time employees. Trago Mills also have two other sites – Falmouth and Liskeard and Devon Eco Energy are looking to carry out solar panel installations at both those.

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