Bombardier continues to go green with new solar roof in Northern Ireland

Bombardier has continued its commitment to ‘building green’ with the unveiling of its latest £3.5m investment in Northern Ireland.

The global Canadian-owned aerospace and transportation manufacturer recently unveiled Northern Ireland’s largest solar panel rooftop, which is expected to provide around a quarter of the company’s East Belfast plane maker site’s energy needs.

The Irish investment is now one of the UK’s largest rooftop solar panel installations – with the 14,000 solar panels set to generate around 3000Mw hours of energy per year, enough to meet 30% of the factories energy demands.

The solar panels are positioned on the roof of the 600,000 sq ft production site at Belfast.

The project is funded by investment managers Oxford Capital, and will allow Bombardier to purchase clean electricity at a predictable cost.

Vice-president of Bombardier aerostructures and engineering services in Belfast, Michael Ryan, said the new solar panels would help boost the sites environmental performance.

“Such a large expanse of roof has provided a number of opportunities to boost our wing facility’s environmental performance, including natural lighting and rainwater harvesting,” he said.

The new solar panel rooftop is the latest endeavour in Bombardiers commitment to ‘building green’.

This involves building new sites and designing them to high environmental standards, such as its CSeries aircraft site in Belfast and Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area in Quebec, which both obtained LEED Gold certification.

The new solar panel roof at Belfast is also an example of the companies green credentials, having reduced its energy consumption by 11% and its greenhouse gas emissions by 23% between 2009 and 2013.

Bombardier has also set itself new environmental and energy reduction targets over the period of 2014 -2016, using statistics from its 2013 reductions as a baseline.