A GARDEN centre in Otley has recently installed a 227-panel solar array.

The array, at Otley Garden Centre (formerly Stephen H Smith's and now part of the Yorkshire Garden Centres group) will save 91,715kWh of energy and will reduce the carbon footprint of the Pool Road site by 21.4 tonnes per annum.

"We are pleased to be investing further at Otley with this solar scheme. Some of the panels will be on the new roof we installed in January, with the remainder on existing buildings. There have never been any solar panels at Otley, and this was always high on our list of priorities when we acquired the business last year," said Mark Farnsworth, Yorkshire Garden Centres' MD.

"We have an extensive network of over 2100 solar panels throughout the group and it's a vital part of our sustainability agenda. There have been times this summer when Tong and Tingley Garden Centres have been self-sufficient, which is great from an environmental and an economic perspective. The annual electricity generated from Otley alone would power an electric car for 367,000 miles."

The Otley Garden Centre solar array was installed by Westwood Energy who also installed 1200 solar panels and 54 EV charging points at Tingley Garden Centre in South Leeds.

The installation is part of Yorkshire Garden Centres' 2023 energy plan that also includes conducting energy-saving audits at all four sites, aligning practices across the group; delivering carbon literacy training to the teams and optimising lighting and heating systems.

The Yorkshire Garden Centres group includes Otley, Tong, Tingley and Bingley Garden Centres.