Thanks to a 4,500-panel, 1.16MW rooftop solar system installed at its fruit and vegetable facility at Portsmouth International Port, the UK’s leading importer of bananas is generating 3,000 kWh of electricity per day.

MMD (Shipping Services Ltd) handles 95% of the UK’s banana imports, which equates to more than half million tones per year. After making the decision to switch to clean energy it chose EvoEnergy to install an array of panels on three of the refrigeration warehouses within its 22-acre site.

The work was carried out at the end of 2014 by a ten-man team of electricians and installers. The 7,000sq m system is now fully operational and could reduce MMD’s CO2 emissions by more than 600 tonnes over a 12-month period.

Working without scaffolding 15-metres above the ground, the team used rope-access techniques, scissor lifts and demarcation markers to complete the work within six weeks without disrupting the company’s 24/7 operation.

EvoEnergy project manager James Sutton explained. "Because of the nature of the building’s use, with more than 18,500 pallets of FMCGs being stored at once and with dozens of forklifts and vehicles moving in and out, it would have been impossible to use scaffolding here. Planning in downtime simply wasn’t an option for a company like MMD.

“So drawing on our experience of delivering commercial projects for customers working in busy, fast-paced industries, we devised a solution that would get the panels fitted and up-and-running quickly with minimal disruption to their day-to-day operations.

“The finished system is enormous and is already delivering impressive savings. It generated more than 2MW in power in one day in February recently so when summer arrives on the South Coast the panels should perform even better.”

The growth of MMD (Shipping Services) Ltd has helped Portsmouth to become one of the largest fruit-handling ports in the UK. Now, with this latest renewables project it’s also one of the greenest.

John Clink, technical and facilities manager at MMD (Shipping Services) Ltd, said: “The installation process was very good indeed. I’ve been impressed with EvoEnergy’s performance throughout and the people working for them did their jobs brilliantly.

“They didn’t interrupt our business, they stayed out of the way and their health & safety practices were spot on. I would recommend them to any other company considering solar for their business to cut costs and reduce their carbon emissions.”