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It's a green energy partnership for two Gloucester businesses

18 October 2022
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Family business Highfield Garden World in Whitminster has partnered with Severn Wye Energy Agency in Highnam to embark on a grand scale solar panel project. Some 875 solar panels later, the independent garden centre is on track to generate half of the electricity it uses from solar power alone.

Highfield Garden World is one of the largest independent garden centres in the county, and welcomes approximately 20,000 visitors a week.  The team worked with the award-winning sustainability charity at the project outset to better understand the sustainability opportunity presented by its vast roof space and hilltop setting.  Highfield then employed 2020 Solar PV from Worcestershire to project manage the entire solar panel installation.

Highfield Garden World Director Tim Armstrong, said:  “As a business and a team we are dedicated to adopting and encouraging climate-friendly ways of living our lives both on a business level and personal basis.  We know that it’s increasingly important to our customers as well, and we’re pleased that our use of green energy might encourage others to make similarly sustainable choices.

“We have been impressed by how much help there is locally for businesses wanting to consider a greener future.  We would definitely encourage others to investigate it for themselves.  We use around 600,000 KVA (kilo volt amperes) a year.  With the energy market as it is, we decided to fast track our planned solar panel project and minimise our dependence on the national grid as quickly as we could.  Looking at the average sunshine hours in a year, our roof space is projected to generate around half of our total electricity requirement.  That’s a significant saving for us, and it’s also the equivalent of planting 3,123 trees, so good news for the environment too.”

Other standout green initiatives at Highfield include its vast 216,000 litre tank which collects rainwater, and its revolutionary new retractable planteria roof which maximises daylight to reduce reliance on electricity for plant care whilst enhancing the customer experience.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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