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Business: CorEnergy
Services: Renewable technologies
Markets: Industrial and commercial
Sustainability: Sustainability,
Client: First Bus
Date: 17/01/2024

First Bus






henry ashman
Senior project manager

After a competitive tendering process, CorEnergy designed and installed over 2 MW of solar PV at more than 20 First Bus sites across the United Kingdom. All this was completed within tight timescales. Commencing in November 2022, over 6,000 modules were installed during a multi-site installation programme.

This nationwide project required significant skill in coordination and project management. Our success demonstrates CorEnergy’s ability to successfully manage projects of a similar scale in a range of occupied commercial buildings. Each site required a tailored approach in terms of design and installation. Appointed as Principal Contractor with responsibility for:

  • Designing the system capacity, size and mounting systems
  • Undertaking structural surveys
  • Preparing connection routes, generator interlocks and export relays
  • Grid connections including DNO G99 applications and metering
  • Procuring all equipment
  • Managing all on-site installation works as part of a multi-site rollout.

Specifications were varied based on site details. PV modules were provided by LONGi. Inverters were from both Solis and SolarEdge. Mounting kits were provided by Esdec, S:Flex, and Van Der Valk.

With 6,000 modules and supporting materials required at short notice, we worked closely with our supply chain of global Tier 1 manufacturers and national distributors. This ensured key elements were in stock and readily accessible. To support this, we established regional depots to store materials prior to each installation commencing.

As Principal Contractor, we had full site CDM responsibilities. This included:

  • Project scheduling
  • Coordination between design & installation
  • Procurement
  • Logistics
  • Site inductions
  • Health and safety audits
  • Review meetings
  • Structural sign-off
  • Project handover

The installations required working in complex operational sites and working at height. A comprehensive approach to safe methods of working was agreed. Bespoke Construction Phase Plans and RAMS were also developed for each site. Due to the age of some sites, a detailed review of the asbestos register was performed prior to the pre-start meeting with areas of concern highlighted. Daily toolbox talks were performed with the site team to ensure safe working practices were followed, particularly regarding working at height.

As part of our stakeholder engagement process, we created a dedicated project management team. They used bi-weekly meetings with First Bus’s project team to provide updates on installation progress at each location. We categorise all tasks on our project tracker as Red, Amber, or Green (RAG) symbolising them as on time, at risk, or behind schedule. This tracker was shared with First Bus’s project team and then reviewed weekly alongside the project risk register. Post-installation, training sessions were held with management teams at each installation to ensure they understood the handover pack and supporting information.

Project Outcomes

All sites were designed and installed within budget and the agreed time-frame. This was a substantial challenge, especially considering DNO constraints and installing during Winter. This success has led to the development of a long-term partnership where we are now being directly awarded further PV installations outside of tender processes.

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