Cost of Solar Panels on County Hall Revealed

NEARLY £100,000 is to be spent installing solar panels on the roof of Worcester’s County Hall, which will help power computers, printers and lights.

Eight systems are to be installed on south-facing pavilion roofs in a move that will save Worcestershire County Council money on its energy bills and reduce its CO2 emissions by about 15 tonnes every year.

Once the solar panels are up and running, people will be able to see how well they are performing by looking at data displayed on a screen in the reception area of County Hall.

Hopes that the cash-strapped council – it is on a mission to save up to £70 million by 2015 – will be able to make money by producing a surplus and selling it back to the national grid are unlikely to materialise in the near future, though, as it requires a lot of power to run its operation.

The solar panel systems, costing £96,000 in total, will pay for themselves in about eight years time, which is an improvement on the previous prediction that it would take a decade as the panels were due to cost £4,000 more last year.

At a meeting of the council’s cabinet yesterday, Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are doing our bit for the environment and taxpayers by reducing the amount of money we’re spending on energy bills.”

The scheme was welcomed by Liberal Democrat councillor Clive Smith, who said the council has often talked the talk and this shows it is now walking the walk.

The money used to pay for the solar panels is coming out of the additional £2 million budget approved by councillors in February to support business and/or green technology.

It is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted in the autumn.

If the application gets the go-ahead, there will be a tendering process before they are installed, which will take about two to three months to complete.

   
    By David Paine Worcester News

 

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