The building in the Community Garden at Green’s Windmill in Sneinton has seen a full renovation with solar panels, a battery, lighting, and more installed for free. The building was completely off the grid, so the solar panels and battery will allow the team and volunteers to run more events, work in the darker afternoons in winter, and enjoy a cup of tea while they work.

As well as providing power to the community garden building, the installation will be used to teach visitors about the city’s carbon neutral target. A monitor will be installed in the building to show how much energy is generated which will help children visiting on school trips understand how renewable technologies work.

Before the installation
After the solar panels and lights were installed

The City Council organised the installation, which has been completed by Warma, the contractor that is installing solar panels across hundreds of homes in Nottingham. Warma designed the system, fitted eight solar panels and the battery, and wired the building for free to improve facilities for the local community. This work would typically cost around £14,000.

Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services, said: “It is fantastic that the City Council’s Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability Division has supported Green’s Windmill to embrace renewable energy through these improvements.

“It is vital that we support community groups to improve their offerings in sustainable ways – and I’m glad that this work will be used to teach visitors about these technologies which can be used on homes and businesses alike. Thank you to Warma for their hard work and generosity.”

Tom Huggon, Chairman of the Green’s Windmill Trust, said: “The difficulty that we had with the lovely community garden was that we couldn’t connect with the electricity system at the Windmill. So we’ve been without electricity. This has been an excellent improvement as we’ve already got lighting here, we can use the electricity for heating, tools and watering. It’s a real boon in practical terms.

“As well as that, it’s a good example of explaining to people (particularly school parties) how this is one of our various green projects – seeing as we are the Green’s Windmill! Full marks to the council team as it has all been done very quickly and with minimal fuss and bother. They’ve really made a good effort, and we’re really pleased.”

Wayne Bexton, Director of Environment at Nottingham City Council, said: “I’m thrilled that our trailblazing work across the city on energy efficiency can have the added benefit of supporting community organisations. Green’s Windmill now has a newly improved facility and a further educational showpiece for school groups and visitors. It was great to work with the passionate volunteers at the Windmill, and I must thank Rob Garner at Warma for his drive to make this happen so quickly.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer at Green’s Windmill can find out more about opportunities on their website.

Further solar or insulation developments are being considered for charitable causes that would benefit the local community, please contact Sara Ahmed via email for consideration.