A TOWN business has turned to solar power for its energy needs after receiving a £40,500 grant.

Edmo Ltd’s fabrication plant at Ross-on-Wye’s Overross Industrial Estate has installed solar panels on its roof to slash the cost of its energy bill and reduce its carbon footprint by more than 33 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

Half of the cost of the £81,000 project was supplied by the Marches Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (MarRE), which other businesses, schools and charities in the area can also apply for.

A company spokesperson said: “Edmo are proud to announce the successful investment and commissioning of a 130kW PV installation at its headquarters in Ross-on-Wye.

“The panels have been installed on the roof of our main fabrication plant as the orientation is perfect for the capture of maximum light.

“At this time, the installation is generating sufficient power to run the fabrication activities at the plant and the surplus energy generated is being fed back to the grid.

“It is another investment in the future of the plant and a positive in these difficult global times.”

The business is a specialist in aluminium extrusion, fabrication and finishing across a wide variety of market sectors, from aerospace engineering to accessibility aids.

The new panels don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can stll generate electricity on a cloudy day - and predicted energy generation from the scheme is 120,602 kilowatt-hours.

It is expected that the panels will have paid off the company’s £40,500 investment from energy cost savings within 3.4 years.

MarRE Project manager Adrian Marshall said small and medium enterprises and eligible organisations such as schools and charities can apply for a renewable energy grant.

“The impact the grant has had on helping companies lower their bills, become more sustainable and reduce carbon emissions has been excellent and we want as many eligible organisations as possible to take advantage,” he said.

Grants are for new installations under the scheme, cover a range of renewable technologies including wind power, solar energy, air-source heat pumps, ground-sourced energy supplies and biomass.

Projects in the range of four to 200kWp can be supported.

Any business in Herefordshire wanting to apply for a grant, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund, administered by Herefordshire Council and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, can contact Adrian at [email protected] or on 01432 260064.

For more information, see www.herefordshire.gov.uk/MarRE