November 10 2012
If you have a classic grey stone country house and a green conscience you will very likely have fallen short of installing solar panels on your roof in case the local planners – in the UK, at least – see red. So these new solar panels from Sir Robert McAlpine Group’s eco-wing, RES, which are disguised as 500mm x 256mm roof slates, could be just what you need to generate a decent stream of power. I was sceptical as to just how much like roof slates they really look, so sweated round the M25 on your behalf to check them out. RES is based in 1930s Arts and Crafts buildings that were once the Ovaltine Egg Farm and, practising what they preach, it’s an almost carbon-free office thanks to a variety of eco installations – quite an achievement with 200 staff working there all year round.
And the slates are very slatey indeed. It would be hard to tell they were there at all. A 1kWp system of Solar Slates costing around £7,000 would cover 7.3sq m of roof and generate 25 per cent of the average home’s electricity requirement for more than 25 years – without frightening the horses.