The Bottle Yard 2 to be solar powered

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TBY2, the brand new second facility being built by Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios, will be powered by a giant 1MWp solar array.

The solar array, consisting of more than 2,000 panels, is being funded community-owned energy cooperative, the Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC). It will be the largest community-owned rooftop solar array in the West of England.

Laura Aviles, Senior Film Manager (Bristol City Council), who oversees The Bottle Yard Studios, said: “Our new TBY2 facility has been designed and built with sustainability in mind at every stage, with premium insulation throughout and a sophisticated building management system to ensure optimal energy conservation.

“We’re hugely proud that the exterior of the building is being put to such valuable use, hosting a community-owned PV array of this size which will generate a huge amount of clean energy to power the site, with surplus energy benefitting the city of Bristol.”

Excess energy produced by the array will go back into the community through the City Leap Sleeved Pool electricity supply model approved by Bristol City Council’s Cabinet earlier this year. It connects buildings and ‘sleeves’ excess energy generated from one building over to another, reducing the energy consumed from non-renewables.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy, said: “The Bottle Yard’s new TBY2 facility and what it can offer to Bristol is immense. It’s not just the growth in film and TV production for the city, but it’s the commitment to help deliver Bristol’s 2030 carbon neutral ambition and the community and partnership working that underpins it.

“I look forward to visiting TBY2 when it opens later this year and seeing firsthand the collection of energy efficient measures operating.”

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BEC’s community ownership model provides a return to their investor members, whilst surplus revenues go back to the local community through grants and investment into more local energy projects. BEC’s latest share offer, which closed at the end of June, attracted £1.3 million from more than 478 investors.

Will Houghton, Bristol Energy Cooperative Project Developer, said: “Solar arrays are often designed to cover just a small part of a roof, to reduce costs. But we’re in a climate crisis, and in order to meet Bristol’s climate goals we‘re aiming much higher than that. The Bottle Yard’s TBY2 facility is a massive site, with loads of opportunity for energy generation and CO2 reduction.

“So for this project, we were determined to make full use of the available roof space. To put it into context, the amount of energy this array is capable of generating could power more than 250 average Bristol households per year.”

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