First Bus invests in on-site renewable energy for depots

First Bus has invested £2.5m in solar power with the installation of more than 6,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels across 20 depot sites.

The move is part of the firm’s net zero emissions strategy, which aims for net zero-emissions by 2050 or earlier and a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. 

The solar PV panels enable the 20 sites to generate their own renewable power for lighting, heating, office equipment and engineering bays.

Panels are being installed and fitted by Manchester-based solar PV suppliers CorEnergy UK, with work on many of the sites already underway. The entire project will be complete by mid-June.  

The move will help local bus operations reduce overall costs and each site’s need to draw power from the local grid. Solar PV panels already installed have been fitted to various areas of the roof on-site, such as the engineering workshops, covering an approximate area of more than 11,000 square metres. At peak output, these will produce some 2 million kWh of energy a year – enough to power around 700 standard 3-bedroom homes.


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.” 

CorEnergy Managing Director, Tom Griffin, said: “CorEnergy is pleased to be supporting the ambitious net zero targets committed by First Bus, having been awarded the design and installation of an exciting renewable energy project to introduce solar PV solutions to 20 sites across the UK.   

“In a time where all businesses are striving for carbon neutrality, this successful solar PV project will play a significant role in supporting First Bus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet ongoing net zero objectives.” 

Image courtesy of First Bus

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