Harnessing solar energy with: MDL Marinas
At MDL, we’ve always been committed to the environment and the investment in green, sustainable initiatives to protect the natural beauty of our marina surroundings and the marine ecosystem, for the enjoyment of all. With 20 marinas and boatyards, providing over 7,000 berths and accommodating 400 business tenants, coupled with rising electricity prices, we began switching to solar energy over 10 years ago to help reduce our operational impact on the environment and operating costs through improving the efficiency of our sites.
In 2011, we first installed 120 photovoltaic/solar (PV) panels on the roof of the Saltmarsh Building at our Cobb’s Quay Marina, and 210 panels on the top deck of our Ocean Village multi-storey car park. In 2018, we further invested in our green infrastructure with the installation of 100 panels on the Chandlery Building at our Hamble Point Marina. More recently, we doubled our solar generating capacity through the installation of 270 solar panels at Cobb’s Quay Marina, 122 panels at Saxon Wharf and a further 230 panels at Hamble Point Marina, making a total of 1052 panels across the four sites.
Logical choice for green energy
Many of the buildings across our estate have large enough roofs to create a viable solar panel array, although we first must carry out a structural assessment of the roof to ensure that it is capable of supporting the weight of the panels. This allows us to prioritise the locations and buildings for PV installations and to plan future PV projects hand in hand with building refurbishments. For example, the 100 Solar Edge panels each weigh approximately 20 kgs, and were installed by Your Eco, PV installation specialist, in partnership with The Logical Group, who offer a range of lighting, energy measurement and heating services.
Dave Pollinger, director at The Logical Group, says “We, at The Logical Group, are delighted to have assisted MDL in its commitment to protecting the environment. We’re thrilled to have been asked to lead this project with solar fast becoming the go-to technology for reducing carbon footprints and driving down business costs.”
“By investing in solar at its marinas, MDL has afforded long- term energy security from a renewable source, future-proofing the company’s energy supply,” says Nick Spicer of Your Eco. “It’s been a pleasure to work with such a forward-thinking business and we look forward to working with them on more installations across their marinas.”
Reaping rewards for a smaller carbon footprint
The solar modules convert the sun’s energy into electricity which is used to power our on-site services and is also consumed by our tenants. We now produce over 150,000 kwh of electricity across Cobb’s Quay, Hamble Point and Saxon Wharf; the equivalent of planting over 2,000 trees and saving over 45,000 kgs of carbon. Our website displays power generated at each marina, along with the total Co2 emission saved, giving live measurable data.
Richard Broadribb, our Property Director, explains “Our aim is to continue to power our marinas through on-site generated renewable energy. We’re continuing with the roll out of our solar panel installations across other marinas, as we work through our planned green investment programme. As a large company we want to set an example for others to undertake similar projects.
Richard continues: “The solar panels are another step forward on our mission to become the UK’s most sustainable marina group, developing a culture of environmental awareness and care amongst our customers and teams. We’re very excited about the positive effect on our carbon footprint, and our PV systems are expected to pay for themselves in less than 9 years. Solar is a great green decision, as well as a great business decision!”
Climate change affects all of us, and our buildings play an important role in providing clean energy for our marinas, helping reduce our Co2 emissions. Installation of solar panels is one way we’re continuing our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment. We’ve also recently launched MDL Fitness, a new range of green gyms where the fitness equipment converts human kinetic energy into electricity, and we’ve partnered with Aqua superPower becoming the first UK marina group to offer electric boat charging.
To find out more about MDL’s Green Strategy and commitment to the environment visit: https://www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/greener-marinas