The Co-operative's £5.5 million Solar Tower project has transformed Manchester's 400ft landmark CIS Tower into a facility capable of producing on-site renewable energy, regardless of the weather. Over 7,000 photovoltaic cell panels create 180,000 units of renewable energy each year – that's enough electricity to make nine million cups of tea, or power 55 homes a year.
The project was proposed as the most cost‑effective way to tackle the building’s disrepair, whilst respecting heritage concerns and aligning with our sustainability requirements.
At the same time it demonstrates that embedded micro-generation can play an important role in moving towards supplies of clean electricity. This is particularly important when just 3% of the UK’s electricity supply is currently generated from renewable sources. The Department for Trade & Industry chose the Solar Tower project as one of their '10 best green energy projects' in 2005.
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