Worcester Renewable Energy
Photovoltaic > On Roof

Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen House prior to installation

Following a competitive tendering process, Worcester Renewable Energy were pleased to be the successful tenderer and appointed by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to design, supply, install and commission a PV system at its head office, Fred. Olsen House.

Prerequisite works

Prior to commencement on site, Worcester Renewable Energy carried out all the necessary prerequisite work on behalf of Fred. Olsen to obtain the required permissions confirming the financial and structural viability of the installation. As the proposed system size was in excess of the Distribution Network Operators maximum permissible size on a three phase supply without prior approval, the first step in the process was to submit an application for connection to the DNO. A full connection offer was promptly received giving the project the first of its prerequisite green lights. A full Energy Assessment of the building was subsequently carried out to confirm that the building met with a ‘D’ rating to confirm eligibility to the higher tariff rate under the 10 to 50kW banding of the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme. Finally, a full structural survey of the roof was carried out simultaneously to ensure the roof was capable of taking the static and wind loads to be imposed by the panels and mounting system.

Pre-commencement meeting and erection of scaffolding

Prior to arrival of the installation team on the agreed start date scaffolding was erected to permit the safe working at heights. It had been agreed during the pre-commencement meeting that a number of parking spaces would be coned off to allow a loading bay to be incorporated into the scaffold. This allowed pallets of panels to be lifted directly from the delivery vehicle up onto the scaffold using a telehandler avoiding double handling and the associated increased risk of damage.

Roof inspection

On arrival, the roof installation team carried out a full inspection of the roof area receiving the panel array for any notable defects, either requiring rectification or reporting to the buildings facilities manager. No defects were found allowing setting out of the roof mounting system and panel array to proceed.

Installation of roof mounting system

Following setting out, installation of the profile sheet roof mounting system commences. The chosen system eliminates the need for roof bars/rails allowing the panels to sit closer to the roof surface giving a more aesthetically pleasing and discreet appearance. The absence of roof bars/rails also speeds up installation time reducing the amount of time on site and disruption to the customer.

Roof mounting system installed

Completion of the roof mounting system is quickly achieved allowing the first phase of the roof installation to be signed off by the site supervisor.

Installation of cable trays

With the roof mounting system completed, electric cable trays are installed from the roof back to the plant room ready to receive the DC strings from the panel arrays.

Installation of roof mounted electrical cable trays

The electric cable trays on the roof are installed below the top row of roof mounting brackets so that they will be not be visible once the panels are installed.

DC Strings

To reduce the amount of DC cable runs back to the plant room and to reduce cost, strings are connected in parallel on the roof rather than taking each string back to the plant room individually.

Unloading and lifting

With the roof mouthing system and DC cabling complete, panels are delivered to site and immediately lifted onto the loading bay of the scaffold using a telehandler avoiding the need for site storage and reducing the risk of potential theft or damage prior to installation.

Installation of panel array

The accurate setting out and fixings of the roof mounting system is verified as the panel array quickly takes shape with each panel connected as it is secured into position.

Completion of the panel array

A member of the roof installation team finishes the panel array carefully fixing the final panel into position.

Commencement of the electrical installation

Whilst the roof installation team are installing the roof mounting system, DC cabling and panel array, the electrical installation team commence work in the plant room adjacent to the buildings main incoming electrical supply.

Installation of sub consumer unit

A new three phase sub consumer unit is installed to facilitate circuit protection and local isolation of the new inverters and metering equipment.

Installation of inverters, isolators and metering equipment

Two three phase inverters are fixed into position along with the DC isolators, AC isolators and generation meter so that wiring up of the system can begin.

Inverters installated

With wiring complete each of the electrical items is labelled and an electrical schematic with safe shut down and start up procedure left adjacent to the equipment for reference by any future competent person needing to work on the system.

Public display

As the building is the head office for Fred. Olsen Cruise lines, a public display with company branding was installed in the main foyer to display to staff, visitors and the general public both current performance and the cumulative performance to date of the system.

System performance

Within a short period of time from the date of commissioning the display shows that the system has generated 4906 kWh of renewable electricity displacing 2786 kg of CO2 emissions which would otherwise have to be produced at a fossil fuel power station.

Installation teams

With the installation fully complete the installation teams gather for quick group photo where it’s all smiles before the scaffold is dropped ready to move onto the next installation.


After assisting Fred. Olsen with its Feed-in Tariff application, the project handover pack containing all the system information is presented to the Fred. Olsen directors of Finance and Sales to complete the sign off of the system.

Completed installation

From the ground the installation is hardly noticeable due to the minimal pitch of the roof and the low profile panel mounting system used.

Aerial view

To publicise the new installation, Fred. Olsen arranged for a drone to fly over the installation to take aerial photos for use in local newspaper articles and its own marketing material.

Project Summary

Award-winning Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, based on Whitehouse Industrial Estate in Ipswich, Suffolk, employed the services of Worcester Renewable Energy to assist the company in working towards a more sustainable future by installing a photovoltaic system on the south-facing roof of its Head Office, Fred. Olsen House. Fred. Olsen House, which has been Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ headquarters since September 1993, accommodates nearly 180 staff, and provides the support functions for the Company’s fleet of four cruise ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch. The south-facing roof of Fred. Olsen House, at the front of the building, now features 198 of the latest generation of photovoltaic solar panels. On average Fred. Olsen House consumes around 614,000 kWh a year, and the new solar panels which utilise the full extent of available space on the south facing roof of the building will generate around 7% of all the electricity that is used in the cruise line’s Head Office. This is equivalent to 44,055 kWh, about the same as the average consumption of ten domestic dwellings, meaning a saving of 25,023kg of CO2, or the equivalent of 25 tonnes of sugar! Worcester Renewable Energy also installed a photovoltaic display in the foyer of the building to show employees and visitors the energy being produced and CO2 savings being achieved. Mike Rodwell, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Installing a renewable energy system to the roof of Fred. Olsen House will contribute towards a more sustainable future, by helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. The feed-in tariff scheme also makes the installation of on-site generation an attractive investment and secures our energy costs for the future. “We believe it to be one of the largest installations of solar panels on any building within the local area, and we are very proud to be ‘doing our bit’ towards a more sustainable future for all of us.”

Key Facts

  • System Size: 49.5kW
  • Panels: 198 x REC Peak Energy 250Wp
  • Inverters: 1 x SMA Sunny Tripower 25,000TL & 1 x SMA Sunny Tripower 20,000TL
  • Renewable Electricity Generated: 44,055kWh/year
  • CO2 Saving: 25,023kg

Customer Testimonial

"We are very pleased with the work by Worcester Renewable Energy Ltd, the team on site were friendly and informative and the project was completed quickly and efficiently. Our staff at Fred. Olsen House also found it very interesting watching the project progress. Installing this renewable energy system will contribute towards a more sustainable future for Fred. Olsen and will have a positive impact on our energy costs going forward." Penny Edgar. Director of Finance & Treasury. Fred. Olsen Limited