Quickgrind Ltd from MyPower

A recommendation shone the light on Solar PV

Quickgrind is an internationally renowned engineering manufacturer specialising in design and manufacture of carbide tools. Their productions require some 1.2 million units of electricity per annum with their tooling machines and robotics able to work 24/7.

Quickgrind operate with an ethos of constant innovation, otherwise known as the Japanese principle of Kaizen. From small process changes to major projects, each change helps progress the company. Knowing their carbon footprint was high due to the nature of their business, solar PV gave them the perfect opportunity to significantly reduce their environmental impact and energy costs. What is more, their electricity bills in the last 3 years alone had increased tremendously and this overhead was only going one way, up. Ross Howell, Managing Director at Quickgrind along with Commercial Manager, Tim Darch began to look across the company for ways to reduce their electricity consumption. Ross was recommended Mypower from another customer of ours. Having looked at solar PV previously but parked it for some time, the new recommendation of Mypower gave Quickgrind the trust again to review the opportunities Solar PV offered.

Making the most of the roof space

Mypower presented Quickgrind with various system options.  Their roof space with sky lights allowed for 164kw of solar panels but with such a high energy usage and all of the solar generation being used on site, Ben Harrison, Managing Director at Mypower, had another suggestion. His proposal was to actually cover the redundant skylights which were no longer required because they had upgraded their lighting to LEDs a few years ago. Covering the skylights would allow for an extra 30kw of solar PV to be installed. Ben developed the idea to replace the roof lights with metal sheets to span the 2m wide rooflights rather than an expensive fixing system. Ben’s proposal saved them £8000 on roof improvements and adding another 30kw of solar would save them even more on electricity bills. Ben even sourced a roofing contractor to cover the skylights.

Grant funding was the icing on the cake

Quickgrind were deliberating solar when Ben heard about a new grant available for businesses in Gloucestershire which is helping reduce carbon emissions across the county. The 30% grant called Target2030 was available to SMEs to help reduce their energy consumption, giving them a more sustainable future. For Quickgrind, receiving this grant meant an impressive 20% ROI went to 28% ROI and overall savings from solar PV increasing to a staggering 75%!  As Quickgrind needed to go through a tender process for the grant, for Mypower this meant advising our customer to advertise the opportunity on the grant funders web site and speak to other Solar PV installers to try and get 3 or more quotes! Its not often a business tells a customer to go speak to a competitor! Our honesty and customer service is one of the things we have built Mypower on and we helped Quickgrind formulate a tender document and supported them through the process of the grant application.  The grant saved Quickgrind £40,000.

Complete transparency on everything

“I’m a big advocate of continuous improvement and even small changes can make a big difference. Our energy consumption is high and we are very conscious of the environmental impact this has and of course it’s a large overhead cost for us. We’ve implemented small but significant changes like programming our machines to operate in the most energy efficient way but our Solar PV installation has made the biggest impact. Investing in solar PV, was a way to do our part towards building a better future for the environment and the community.
Ben really put forward the case for Mypower and Solar PV with several options of system sizes and products, giving complete transparency on everything. Then letting us know about the new availability of the grant, which I’ve no doubt caused them extra work, but saved us a significant amount was admirable. The grant process was very easy and straightforward with Mypower’s help. Mypower’s team on site were excellent and caused no disruption to the business and the whole project was managed and communicated to us exceptionally well”
Tim Darch, Commercial Manager, Quickgrind

Reducing their carbon footprint

Quickgrind’s Solar PV installation means they will avoid 56 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year which forms part of their steps to minimise their environmental impact as much as possible. Future developments include electric vans, Polyethylene (PE) tool packaging made from sugarcane, increasing recycling efforts amongst other small incremental investments/improvements.

Key facts and predictions

The benefits from solar PV to Quickgrind were impressive without a grant but even more so with…