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DTI commends green projects based on Sharp solar modules

Two Sharp installations highlighted in DTI report for innovation and contribution to 2010 renewables target

The DTI has singled out for special praise ten renewable energy projects that began generating clean electricity in 2005, including two installations constructed from Sharp photovoltaic (PV) modules. The projects were developed in partnership with solarcentury, the UK’s leading solar energy company. The innovative schemes were specifically chosen because they have helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise awareness of renewable energy, while contributing to the Government's 2010 CO2 reduction target.

The first project to be selected was the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) Tower in Manchester. Originally built in 1962 as the headquarters for the insurance company, the office tower has undergone major refurbishment, including the installation of Sharp solar panels on the south, east and west facades of the service tower. Part-funded by the DTI's solar grant scheme, it represents the largest usage of solar panels in the UK. The first phase was officially opened by the Prime Minister on 3 November 2005, and the project is due to be completed in early 2006.

Also part-funded by the DTI is the second solar project chosen for praise: the Eden Centre in St Austell, Cornwall. The Eden Trust is well known for its environmentally-engineered biodomes, which provide carefully controlled growing conditions for non-native plants. This well visited Eden tourist attraction aims to promote understanding and responsible management of the relationship between plants, people and resources. The Sharp solar panels on its new education centre are also helping to raise awareness of renewable energy.

Commenting on the selection, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said, "2005 has been an excellent year for renewable energy. The projects highlighted have certainly made their contribution to reducing carbon emissions and increasing the megawatt capacity that comes from green sources, while helping people understand what renewable energy is and where it comes from. I look forward to building on this success in 2006. We are aiming for ten per cent of the UK's electricity to be supplied from renewable energy by 2010, and it is essential that we make considerable year-on-year progress if we want to hit that target."

About the CIS Tower

CIS commissioned the installation of more than 7,000 Sharp PV panels on three sides of its Manchester HQ, making it Europe’s largest vertical solar cladding project. The solar solution is a cost effective alternative to traditional rainscreen cladding, with the added benefit of generating significant amounts of clean energy. From the early stages of the ambitious £5.5m project, Sharp worked extremely closely with CIS and solarcentury, its UK distributor, to develop a bespoke solar module appropriate for this large-scale installation. The CIS Tower is a landmark building in Manchester, and the blue 80W polycrystalline panels were designed to give a clean and aesthetic look to the tower. The 391kW PV array will generate 180,000kWh of electricity per year, enough to light an average home for 300 years.

About the Eden Project

The award winning Eden Project has been Cornwall’s most popular tourist attraction since it opened in March 2001. Over 330 Sharp 80W polycrystalline modules have been installed and the Education and Resource Centre opened in September 2005. It is estimated that the 41.23kWp system will save over 9 tonnes of CO2 annually, an amount that would take 100 years for 12 trees to remove from the environment. The PV modules will generate enough electricity each year to light an average three-bedroomed house for more than 33 years.


Notes to editors

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About Sharp

Sharp is the global leader in solar cell production, with more than 45 years' experience in the industry. With installations as diverse as satellites, commercial, public and residential buildings, over a quarter of solar modules installed worldwide are manufactured by Sharp. In 2004, Sharp opened its first solar module manufacturing plant in Europe based in Wrexham, North Wales. The facility assembles monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules for residential and commercial installations. In 2005, Sharp’s annual production capacity increased to 400 megawatts.

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