A CHEMICAL company has invested £200,000 in solar panels as part of a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Airedale Chemical has had the panels installed at its base in Skipton Road, Cross Hills.

The industrial chemical specialist now has 263.73 kilowatts of panels across its site – on the south-facing warehouses and office buildings.

As a result, the company will no longer draw any electricity from the power grid.

Craig Thomson, finance director at Airedale Chemical, said the initiative should save the firm about £25,000 a year on its energy bills – with an overall saving of £800,000 forecast for the next 25 years.

He added: “While the project has been a great way for us to cut down our overheads, it also forms part of our strategy to minimise our carbon footprint and the impact on the environment.

“The installation of solar panels is something we have had planned for some time but we needed to carry out additional building work to ensure there was enough support to hold them.

“The majority of energy generated by the solar panels will be used in our production facility where we operate mixing and reacting vessels continuously during our working week.”

The project has taken around 18 months from its inception to completion. There were some delays to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Work was carried out by Custom Solar, which has completed installations for a wide range of commercial, public sector and infrastructure clients including Porsche, Cambridge University Press and ABP Port of Goole.

Daniel Fox, Airedale Chemical’s operations director, said more measures would be carried out by the firm as part of its continuing strategy to reduce the carbon footprint.

He added: “Our environmental impact is constantly under review and this project is just one part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

“We will be rolling out further measures over the coming months and years.”

Airedale Chemical is a third-generation family business founded in 1973.

It has been based in Cross Hills since 1994.

It provides chemicals and contract manufacturing to a range of markets across the UK and Europe, including dairy, recycling and waste management.