Offshore Electronics commits to sustainable PCB production with major solar PV installation4th October 2023
Offshore Electronics is set to add a large solar PV array to its 20,000 sq. ft manufacturing headquarters in St. Peter Port, Guernsey. Due to be fitted in early 2024, 96 high-efficiency panels will be added to the site’s roof, generating around 44,460kWh per year. This equates to roughly 11% of the business’s annual energy consumption and will save 8,600 kg of CO2.
The green energy will be used to power Offshore’s key production equipment, such as select soldering and state-of-the-art pick and place machinery, the latter capable of placing 95,000 parts per hour. It will also be used to power the site’s critical building services, such as lighting and IT infrastructure.
Little Green Energy Co, a local Guernsey business, will provide and install the panels. Offshore has chosen not to add a storage solution. This allows any excess energy generated to be redirected back into the local grid when not used during production hours. The array’s modular design also allows more panels to be added at a later date.
The installation of solar panels demonstrates the business’s ongoing commitment to low-impact PCB assembly. Offshore’s carbon footprint is significantly lower than a typical manufacturing site. This is afforded by Guernsey’s community power that is mostly derived from imported sources, of which 92% is generated from hydro, wind and solar. By relying on this source, Offshore is capable of producing PCBAs with a much lower level of embodied carbon, especially when compared with competitors in other regions using grid power derived from coal or natural gas.
The move comes at a crucial time for the business, having experienced a record financial year over 2022-2023. With this growth, the board saw fit to reinvest some of the proceeds back into production, with green power deemed a top priority. The addition of solar not only makes the site more resilient, but also complements Offshore’s other sustainability initiatives, such as the adoption of circular economy principles to minimise the impact of electronics waste on the island community.
Paul van der Tang, Purchasing Director at Offshore Electronics, said:
This solar array is a serious investment in our future as a business, making us more resilient to outside disruption in the energy market. But it’s also an investment in the environment, allowing us to minimise the impact of electronics manufacturing as a whole. We’re proud of our record success over the past year, though we also recognise the importance of investing in the future. Guernsey is in a fortunate position with low-carbon community power, but that shouldn’t be considered a free pass. We want to be good to our word when committing as a sustainable outsourced partner for clients. This installation is just one of the many ways we’ll continue to do that.
* Image - Little Green Energy Co showcasing one of the many similar projects previously installed Guernsey