Solar power systems installed on a range of Nottingham City Council buildings have generated one million kilowatt hours of green energy during 2018.
Well-used city buildings including libraries, leisure centres, schools and offices all host the council’s solar infrastructure; silently generating clean and green energy whilst the buildings users go about their day. Britain’s heatwave this summer certainly helped boost the generating capacity at these sites and some council sites experienced periods of being entirely powered by solar.
One million kilowatts would power over 300 typical domestic homes for a year, or meet the entire annual energy needs of the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall , powering their shows, hospitality and all the back office operations.
Installing solar PV on operational sites has made sound economic sense for the council and is playing an important part in plugging the council’s budget gap and protecting front line services. It has offset the need to buy peak-time electricity from the grid, has put unused rooftop space to good use and helps to insulate the council from future electricity price rises. As well as saving money, generating energy in this way supports the council’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
Further cost savings were achieved as the solar installations were carried out in-house by the council’s energy delivery team. This team has developed in response to the large number of energy related projects that the council is undertaking, creating opportunities for a local workforce to develop skills in installing sustainable energy technologies.
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are beginning to see the huge benefits to decarbonising our operations both financially and environmentally. With savings of over £300,000 per year, we are really seeing that it pays to be green. We know that Nottingham people care about the environment so it’s great that we can have a real impact for the better on the environment whilst saving money and creating skilled local jobs.”
Wayne Bexton, Head of Energy Services, said: “We’ve had a really busy few years identifying commercially viable sites and delivering solar systems across our estate and it’s great to see the council’s generating capacity reach this impressive solar energy milestone.
“We are now building on our successful solar programme and working with local companies on a commercial basis to help them reduce operational costs and achieve improved environmental performance, further contributing to Nottingham’s green credentials and supporting local businesses.”
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