Bid for 1300 solar panels on supermarket roof

Tuesday August 15th 2023


The Sainsbury's supermarket store in Straiton.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

An energy giant has applied for planning permission to put nearly 1,300 solar panels on the roof of a Midlothian supermarket to help it reach its net zero climate goal.

The Sainsbury’s store at Straiton will have the new panels installed across its roof by Eon UK Heat Ltd, if given the go ahead, in a move it says will make the store less reliant on the National Grid.

In an application to planning officers, representatives says Sainsbury’s is working with Eon to install a solar array of 1,288 photovoltaic (PV) panels to its roof space.

It says: “With a focus on reducing their carbon emissions, the business (Sainsburys) has made a commitment to reducing their absolute greenhouse gas emissions within operations to Net Zero by 2035.

“The addition of the solar array at the site offers an excellent opportunity for green energy generation for onsite operations, whilst also helping to reduce carbon emissions and offsetting the reliance on grid supplied energy.”

The planning statement from Eon says all electricity generated will be used onsite to “offset energy used from the national grid”.

And it says given the scale of the operation it is likely to take two weeks to install the new panels.

Once operational, the array will be monitored to ensure the safe and efficient operation of equipment with annual services proposed and regular maintenance by engineers.

The application says the life span of the panels is 35 years and states they will be decommissioned after that period of time.

It adds: “Should the applicant seek a prolonged operational lifespan, further permission will be sought from Midlothian Council at a later date.

“Any application for an extension will be done in accordance with the legislation and regulations at the time of applying..”

The application is available to view on the council’s planning portal.

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