Nottingham City Council builds on award-winning public solar carport initiative

Nottingham City Council has expanded its capacity to generate green energy with a further solar carport installation at the Ken Martin Leisure Centre.

With ever tighter budgets to manage, councils across the country are looking at ways to not only save money but to earn income too.  This solar panel scheme is part of a broader solar delivery programme managed by Nottingham City Council, which seeks to install solar panel infrastructure on domestic houses and commercial sites.  The council’s Energy Team has surveyed land and buildings owned by the council to identify opportunities where space can be further utilised so it not only meets its primary purpose but also generates income via solar power generation.

The new solar carport at Ken Martin will generate free green electricity for the use of the leisure centre, saving an estimated ten thousand pounds a year, and excess capacity will be exported to the grid, generating income for the council.  Income is also generated via a Feed in Tariff (FIT), a Government subsidy for the generation of renewable electricity.  From this installation alone Nottingham City Council is expected to generate over one hundred thousand pounds in income over the twenty year life span of the FIT agreement.

Currently the UK’s largest solar carport, it spans nine separate, specially-built roofs. The 355 panels will generate 80,000 kWh of electricity and cut the council’s carbon footprint by almost 40 tonnes a year.

Investment in green energy solutions such as this has put the council on track to meet its 2020 target to reduce its own carbon emissions by 31% and to meet the citywide target of a 26% reduction in emissions.

Nottingham City Council worked with EvoEnergy to deliver the scheme, continuing their award-winning partnership.  In October last year the installation at Harvey Hadden won the Nottingham Post Environmental Innovation award for being the first council in the UK to install such a scheme.

Councillor Alan Clark, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, said: “The solar carport is an ingenious solution for maximising our assets, generating income and lowering the city’s carbon emissions.  Car parks, although serving a practical purpose and being very necessary for the thousands of customers who visit our leisure centres, are not usually seen as cutting edge.  It’s really exciting that we have been able to extend the usefulness of this space and invest in a green energy supply for Nottingham.”

Michael Brien, project manager for EvoEnergy, said: “We’ve partnered with the council on almost a dozen occasions now since 2013, including its first solar carport at Harvey Hadden last summer. This time around we’ve helped them build the largest solar carport in the country, which really highlights the size of the council’s commitment to energy efficiency.”

Ends

For further information please contact Ruth Stallwood, Nottingham City Council Communications Team, on 0115 876 2900 or by email at ruth.stallwood@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Share this post!