Branston Ltd is a large potato packer and processor based near Lincoln with additional packhouses near Perth and Taunton. It employs over 900 people and supplies large retailers, wholesalers and food producers across the UK with fresh and prepared potatoes and sweet potatoes.  

Washing, grading and further processing over 300,000 tonnes of potatoes every year means a considerable amount of electricity usage and so Branston has always been an early adopter of sustainable investments that can reduce energy consumption. Branston has recently committed to be a Net Zero business by 2030. 

The company has been using a mix of solar PV panels and anaerobic digestion since 2009 and this has historically provided around 16% of the energy requirement for the group. Business expansion over recent years means that new roof space has become available to be considered for solar panels.  

Branston reviewed proposals from three companies to provide additional solar panels and decided to partner with Mole Energy to establish viable locations for new roof-mounted solar panels and to install and connect them to the current system.   

An assessment of the opportunity suggested that the investment made good financial sense, adding 3,720sqm of new solar to roof space across various buildings at Branston’s Lincoln and Perth sites. The payback on this six-figure outlay is projected to be in under five years – a healthy return for an investment in sustainable infrastructure for the business that will provide financial and environmental benefits for many years to come.  

Installation will be completed by March 2023 which, along with some enhancements to AD plant performance, will increase renewable energy usage at Branston to around 25% of their average requirement.