Nottingham City Council’s green energy journey has reached an important milestone as its largest solar scheme yet puts it on course to generate over one million kilowatt hours of solar energy this year.

One million kilowatts would be enough energy to meet the entire Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall’s energy needs for 2018, powering their shows, hospitality and all the back office operations – or over 300 typical domestic homes. Installing solar infrastructure across its estate is a key part of the council’s sustainable energy programme which aims to reduce running costs and reduce its carbon footprint. The 200 kWp system at Harvey Hadden will be the council’s 45th commercial solar installation.

Harvey Hadden Sports Village is already the home of the UK’s first publicly owned solar car park, providing a canopy for the car park as well as generating free and green electricity for the sports centre. In total, solar power at the centre will now save around £20,000 a year on energy bills and meet almost ten percent of the centre’s energy needs.

Green energy savings are really beginning to add up at Harvey Hadden, with a number innovative low carbon energy technologies including a Combined Heat and Power boiler, LED lighting throughout and smart hot water optimising units at the site. Altogether innovative green technology is saving the leisure centre over £40,000 and 185 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Further cost savings were achieved as the solar installation was 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.

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 commercial sites.  The council’s Energy Projects Team within Energy Services has surveyed land and buildings across the city to identify opportunities where space can be further utilised so it not only meets its primary purpose but can also generate cost savings and income via solar power.

Councillor Dave Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council, said:  “Harvey Hadden is really seeing huge benefits to decarbonising its operations. With savings of over £40,000 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 have a real impact for the better on the environment whilst saving money and creating skilled local jobs.”

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