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Co-operative Insurance Services (CIS), the insurance sector within Co-operative Financial Services (CFS), is based in a 13-storey building on Portland Street in Manchester, which was originally constructed in 1962.

As part of an internal environmental policy and an awareness of climate change impacts, CIS decided to retro-fit micro wind turbines on the roof of the building to provide a small part of the electricity demand.


CIS installed 19 turbines on the roof of their headquarters building. This is the largest ever commercial application of micro-wind turbines in the UK. The wind turbines will produce 44,000kWh of renewable energy each year, which is equivalent to 3% of the annual energy demand of the building.

Each of the turbines has a height of approximately 3m and is rated at 1kW. The wind speed on the roof of the 13 storey building is higher and less turbulent than at ground level, which results in ideal operating conditions for the turbines. Under these conditions, the payback on each of the £2,500 turbines is expected to be 4 – 5 years.

CIS has also recently started to reclad a tower in at their headquarters building with solar panels. This will be Europe’s largest vertical solar array, with all three sides of the 25 storey building’s service tower clad in energy generating solar panels. 7,244 solar photovoltaic panels, designed to convert daylight into electricity, will create 180,000 units of renewable electricity each year. This is enough energy to make 9,000,000 cups of tea.

Project team

Co-operative Insurance Services



Further information