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The sun always shines on PV...
11 May 2010

From Franz Ferdinand to Charlotte Church, some of pop's biggest names have passed through the doors of London Recording Studio, The Premises.

And now they've opened a new state-of-the-art recording studio, entirely powered by photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof.

Julia Craik and Viv Broughton told us more.

Why go solar?

Julia Craik
Julia Craik in the new studio

We had to move from our old studios. The new building had a flat roof already, so we thought it would be great to put solar panels on.

Also regeneration funding from the Government meant we had to contribute to sustainable development.

It's the first solar-powered recording studio in the UK.

How much power do the panels provide?

We took an audit of the amount of electricity we used in a typical year in our previous studio. Then, from that we estimated how many panels we needed to install in order to provide that level of energy.

Over a year we use the same amount of electricity as we generate .

Julia Craik

The Premises solar panels

Was it easy?

It's been incredibly smooth. They only took a day to fit. The panels are self-cleaning so we don't even need to look at them.

Any other eco features?

The mixing desk and the air-conditioning unit are low energy.

We've insulated the studio for sound so that a helicopter hovering overhead can't be heard inside the studio.

As a side effect it means heat doesn't escape from the studio. Even on the coldest day of last winter it didn't need any heating.

The Premises recording studio

What do bands make of it?

The feedback's been fantastic. We had Bloc Party in the other week.

The most important thing for a recording artist is the audio quality. But it does give us an edge attracting artists who are concerned about their carbon footprint.

Viv Broughton

How can more businesses be encouraged to go solar?

We'll recoup our costs after 10 years. I think if it's going to have widespread take-up with more small businesses, the capital installation costs need to come down.

It's really important that it makes commercial sense for small businesses. The Government can do much much more than it's doing at the moment.

Solar panel

© Flat33 / Friends of the Earth

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