Running supercomputers on sunshine

SunGift Solar staff install solar panels at the Met Office

Work is underway to install a solar panel array at the Met Office which will generate enough energy to power one of our supercomputers.

Work is underway to install a solar panel array at the Met Office which will generate enough energy to power one of our supercomputers.

The array will generate 221,000 kW hours of electricity per year - enough to power the equivalent of 67 houses - and will save about 116 tonnes of C02 per year.

Installed on the 150 metre long Energy Centre at our Exeter HQ, the system will be linked to a sophisticated Electricity Management System enabling up-to-the-minute monitoring of the panels' performance.

Peter Clayton-White, Building Services Engineer at the Met Office, said: "On a sunny day this array will generate enough energy to run one of our three supercomputers on sunshine, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our energy supply. We hope to have a display in our reception so everyone can see how much energy the array is generating at any one time and how much is going to the supercomputer."

Renewable energy specialist and current South West Renewable Energy Installer of the Year, SunGift Solar are currently installing the system after being selected from a competitive tender process.

Gareth Walton, business development manager of the Exeter-based firm, said: "The Met Office is a world leader in weather and climate services, so it's great news we were chosen from the tender process to carry out this prestigious job.

"Our emphasis has always been on providing bespoke solutions that are at the cutting edge of technology, so we're proud of the fact that our high level of technical knowledge and experience has been recognised."

Contact information

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655

E-mail: Press Office

Met Office Customer Centre: 0870 900 0100

If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680

Last updated: 18 May 2012