George Hammond is investing £1.5m in a full knock-down rebuild (KDRB) of its Thanet Way Services in Kent that is scheduled to open next month.

The redevelopment will include a 30kw solar array that will generate electricity for the site and feed electricity back into the national grid.

Director John Ryland said the company, which is ranked 47 in the Top 50 Indies, looked into the option of generating its own electricity because the local authority asked it to consider renewable energy as part of the planning process. He said: "With energy prices escalating and expected to rise even higher, anything we can do to mitigate our energy costs is worth looking at.

"Last year electricity across our seven sites cost us £45,000. We will use most of the electricity ourselves and with the feed-in tariff at its current level, it should pay for itself in four years."

Last year George Hammond won a Forecourt Trader award for the redevelopment of its Queenborough site on the Isle Sheppey, Kent (below).