Work has begun on a solar energy project which could generate approximately 70% of the electricity used at Biosphere Partner Zurich’s Isle of Man HQ, and has the potential to also provide power for charging electric vehicles.
The project at Zurich House, Isle of Man Business Park, is expected to be built, tested and operational in summer 2022.
Jason Buckley, Facilities Manager at Zurich on the Isle of Man, recently welcomed representatives from Isle of Man contractors Ardern & Druggan to mark the start of building work.
Daphne Caine MHK – Chair of the Island’s Climate Change Transformation Board – was also there and pleased to see the project making progress and was looking forward to it being operational later this year.
An artist's impression by Ardern & Druggan of how the finished building will look
She said Zurich’s major commitment to harnessing renewable energy, and ensuring a sustainable future for its Isle of Man headquarters, will help the Island to meet its climate change goals.
Zurich has chosen to work with local business Ardern & Druggan to install the latest photovoltaic cell technology with the capacity to generate over 200 kilowatts (200,000 watts) of electricity – enough to power 2,000 100 watt lightbulbs.
The solar panels project is being jointly funded by Zurich on the Isle of Man and the Zurich Carbon Fund, which is part of Zurich Insurance Group’s sustainability commitment.
In 2019 Zurich became the first insurer in the world to sign up to the UN’s 1.5 Celsius Business Ambition. Since then the Group has created a Sustainability Leadership Council and a 1.5 Task Force.
The Zurich House solar power project aims to build on the company’s many achievements here on the Island to reduce waste and save energy. That includes the opening in 2018 of Zurich House which is one of only a handful of buildings here that are BREEAM accredited. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects.