Carley’s Organic: How to be part of the solution, not part of the problem…and still clean up

Since starting out as a wholefood shop in 1974 Carley’s Organic of Cornwall has grown to be one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of organic spreads and condiments. From the beginning, their company ethos was to be ‘part of the solution, not part of the problem.’ They consider the environmental impact of everything they do, then minimise or offset the effects of their actions.

The result is a business that today has zero carbon footprint, produces zero pollution and is growing rapidly.

Naked’s triple solar panel installations between 2015-2018 have played a major part in helping Carley’s achieve their sustainable business goals.

Key Stats

System Size: 56.7 kWp
System Cost: £51,000 for total project
Energy Savings per year: £6500+
Payback time: 6.8 years
Return on Investment: 16% p.a.
Panels: Combination of REC 260 and 270 Peak Energy x 225
Inverters: SolarEdge SE15,000 + SE15,000 + SE9000
Optimisers: SolarEdge P300’s x 225
Notes: Export limited using SolarEdge Modbus

The Power of Three

Install 1: Initially, MD John Carley wanted Naked to install an array on the south facing roof of their new factory to reduce the company’s energy bills and carbon emissions. The first install of 115 REC 260 watt panels was completed in 2015.

Install 2: It was so successful that John decided within a year to cover his entire roof space with more panels and added high performing SolarEdge inverters and optimisers. The second installation of panels were on North West facing roofs.  Running a simulation using our powerful PVSOL design software showed John that the energy savings justified the installation investment.

Install 3: What do you do when your whole roof is covered in solar? Well you build more roof space! In 2018 Carley’s Organic commissioned some specially designed frames to attach to their factory that would allow another 45 panels to be set up.

‘Naked Think Like Us’

Naked Solar have been integral to our aim of getting as close to energy independence as possible, and achieving zero carbon impact day to day at our factory. They think like us: be part of the solution, not the problem. They explained options clearly and honestly, worked efficiently, and most importantly, did what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it. The fact that we’ve come back to them three times in 4 years is a testament to the quality of their team.

Installation of major arrays of solar panels has been an essential part of our sustainability plan. In the summer we generate much more electricity than we can use. Even in the winter we still can get a significant amount of generation. We have a large bank of batteries that can store excess electricity for use at night. In 2018 we added more panels on the east and west elevation to give us more generation earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon.

~ John Carley, MD Carley’s Organic

Proving the commercial case for solar energy

4 quick takeaways:

  1. Recent advances in panel, inverter and storage battery technology mean companies can now achieve true energy independence.
  2. The loss of feed-in-tariffs is not a barrier to going solar. The savings on utility bills are now enough incentive. System costs are falling, efficiency is rising, so payback and annual return on investment remains attractive.
  3. It’s a win-win for business and its surrounding community. Carley’s provide sustainable jobs for the local community with no carbon footprint, no waste, and zero pollution.
  4. Many companies won’t be able to push sustainability as far as Carley’s but any initiative that reduces your carbon footprint can increase your brand credibility, secure customer loyalty and boost growth. And for many larger B2B and public sector contracts, offsetting your carbon footprint is now a prerequisite for tendering. Solar energy can play a big part in achieving the required standards.

~ Naked Solar’s work for Carley’s Organic received a Special Commendation at the 2018 Energy Efficiency Awards


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