A huge £12m facility being built as part of a major expansion of Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios will be powered by giant solar panels, it has been announced.
TBY2 – as it has been dubbed – will have the biggest community-owned solar rooftop array in the South West, and it will be one of the biggest of its kind in the UK, the studios said.
Consisting of more than 2,000 panels, the solar array is being funded by the latest share offer of the Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC). The offer closed at the end of June, attracting £1.3m from more than 478 investors. According to the BEC, the amount of energy the solar panels are capable of generating could power more than 250 average Bristol households per year.
Bristol City Council, which owns and runs the Bottle Yard Studios, initially planned to install a 283kWp solar array on the rooftop of TBY2, but now the final array will be more than three times larger than originally planned. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to open in the autumn of this year.
Laura Aviles, senior film manager at Bristol City Council, who oversees The Bottle Yard Studios, said: “We’re hugely proud that the exterior of the building is being put to such valuable use, hosting a community-owned PV array of this size which will generate a huge amount of clean energy to power the site, with surplus energy benefitting the city of Bristol.”
Over time, surplus energy produced at the TBY2 facility will be utilised through the City Leap Sleeved Pool electricity supply model approved by Bristol City Council’s cabinet earlier this year. The model connects buildings and ‘sleeves’ surplus energy generated from one building over to another, to reduce energy consumption from non-renewables.
Councillor Kye Dudd, cabinet member for climate, ecology, waste and energy, said: “The Bottle Yard’s new TBY2 facility and what it can offer to Bristol is immense. It’s not just the growth in film and TV production for the city, but it’s the commitment to help deliver Bristol’s 2030 carbon neutral ambition.”
Less than half a mile from the main Bottle Yard site in South Bristol, TBY2 will have three sound insulated and acoustically treated stages as well as more than 40,000 sq ft of additional ancillary space, including serviced production offices; prop stores; construction workshops; costume and makeup; and break-out areas.
The three new stages increase the total number of stages at the Bottle Yard Studios to 11. Earlier this year Bristol City Council, which owns and runs the studios, contracted global construction specialists ISG to deliver the £12m TBY2 redevelopment which is backed by West of England Combined Authority (Weca) investment.
By Hannah Baker