Tarmac powers up sustainability credentials

Tarmac powers up sustainability credentials with solar panels at Midlands plant. (Image courtesy of Tarmac).

Tarmac has installed hundreds of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at its Birmingham asphalt plant in Washwood Heath as part of the company’s commitment to meeting its net zero targets.

Around 430 PV panels have been designed and installed by solar energy specialists Custom Solar on the south facing roof of the plant and site offices. Generating up to 194,000 kwh of renewable energy a year, the installation will supply around 10% of the site’s electricity demand.

All electricity used by Tarmac across its nationwide operations is already drawn from 100% clean renewable sources, however if the panels were replacing electricity generated from fossil fuels, the carbon savings would equate to around 33,000kg of CO2 in the first year of operation.

The site at Washwood Heath is the first of Tarmac’s asphalt plants to install solar PVs, and the business is now working on designs to roll out the technology at other similar sites across the UK, which will place less demand on the national electricity network as well as make operations even more sustainable.  

Rob Doody, managing director for Tarmac’s central region, said: “Generating our own clean power not only reduces our carbon footprint, but also provides long-term energy security for Tarmac operations.

“We've been proactively making significant improvements to our operations and product portfolio for many years – it’s great to be taking another step on our sustainability journey and using home-grown electricity at one of our flagship sites, contributing to the generation of renewable energy.”

Neil Beaumont, Custom Solar senior account manager, said: “We are extremely pleased to have completed this solar development with Tarmac. The company's sustainability ambitions are clear to see, and it has been great to work with the Tarmac team as part of continued efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“All of the power generated by the 200kWp installation will be used onsite, helping to reduce site reliance on the grid, whilst also mitigating their exposure to the volatile energy markets.”

The addition of the PV panels is the latest in a series of sustainability measures introduced at Birmingham asphalt plant, which recently announced it had acquired the UK’s first battery electric mixer truck

Tarmac’s wider ongoing sustainability commitment has seen the company achieve a 37.8% reduction in CO2 per tonne of product since 1990 and use over seven million tonnes of recycled and secondary materials from other industries in 2021 alone.

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