First Bus is investing £2.5 million in solar power on a mission to make its depots self-sustaining – with 6,000 solar PV panels enabling 20 depots to generate their own renewable power for lighting, heating, office equipment and the engineering bays.
By mid-June, these panels will generate over 2 million kWh per year, enough to power around 700 family homes.
The installation of solar PV panels is part of First Bus’ wider pledge to reduce the overall emissions generated by its bus operations, with a goal of achieving net zero-emissions by 2050 or earlier. It is also aiming to have a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.
Solar panels on First Bus depots
The solar PV panels have been fitted to various areas of the roof on site, such as the engineering workshops, covering an approximate area of over 11,000 square metres. At peak output, the panels will produce some 2 million kWh of energy a year.
Jon Tivey, Head of Environment for First Bus UK, said: “We are delighted to announce the rollout of our solar PV programme across the UK, which will help us to significantly reduce our carbon emissions across 20 sites. This is yet another milestone in our transition to a low-carbon future across every aspect of our operations. As one of the largest bus operators in the UK, it’s important that we lead the way in the industry and set an example for others to follow.”