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Plans for green distribution centre shelved

By: David Howells
13 July 2011

A distribution centre in Bradford has abandoned its plans to fit an array of solar panels following a hike in costs.

The Marks & Spencer distribution centre in Bradford had originally outlined plans to fit a solar array but following a government funding reshuffle the plans have been shelved.

Despite the setback, the announcement shouldn't affect the day-to-day logistic work of those employed in the distribution centre.

Marks & Spencer's plan was originally to take advantage of the feed-in tariff, which would've helped fund the installation of voltaic panels on the warehouse roof. The 1.1 million square foot building is already carbon neutral, but the business claimed that solar panels would have bettered its green credentials and that any surplus could be sold on to the National Grid.

However, following a spending shake up, the funding was withheld - with new plans afoot to only subsidise smaller-scale green energy schemes of 50kW or less. The funding cut is due to come into force from August 1st.

Richard Gillies, Marks & Spencer's head of green initiatives and CRC (carbon reduction commitment), told, "We went through all the work [for the solar array] only to find the feed in tariff revised and the CRC turned into a carbon tax."

Adding, Gillies told that the brand would seek other ways to boost its green credentials, including selling home energy improvement devices under another government scheme which many other businesses are considering.

"We're interested," he said. "It's a bit of a wait and see for us, but we would be keen to put a player in that space."

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