Nottingham City Council has launched a renewable energy framework which will help boost the growing number of solar projects in the city – and elsewhere around the country.

Building on its reputation as the UK’s Smartest City for energy the council is increasingly looking at solar to meet its large energy demand and make use of available roof space. Switching to this renewable energy source is proving to be not just greener but also cheaper than the alternatives. The council already has over 40 solar systems generating 1,200,000kwh per year, which reduces their yearly energy bill by over £90,000.

Over the next five years, the council anticipates spending over £3m on installing new systems, at locations such as Victoria Leisure Centre and Eastcroft Depot and extending the solar capacity at Harvey Hadden. This investment will enable the council to maximise their assets and bring about significant savings.

Having a framework in place to procure suppliers will reduce the delivery costs and turnaround time for projects. As Nottingham City Council has a full pipeline of solar projects planned for next 3 years, it was essential that they simplified the procurement process. The framework has been opened up for other local authorities to use in a bid to support the UK’s renewable energy sector by making it easier for other councils to work with suppliers.

The framework has been developed to support the growth of the council’s in-house solar installation team, which will bring about further cost savings. 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.

In line with the council’s procurement strategy the framework will ensure that the council is getting value for money when buying goods and services while at the same time using its buying power to improve the local economy and help create local jobs.

Local electrical wholesaler, Edmundson Electrical Nottingham, were awarded a place on the framework. This local company specialises in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and has been operating in Nottingham for 45 years.  City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Graham Chapman and City Council officers went to visit the organisation to give them the good news and have a tour of their Nottingham operations.

Councillor Chapman  said: “Our procurement process will support our local economy, create jobs and deliver value for money for our citizens.  As well as supporting local business, the council’s solar pipeline will support our commitment to tackle climate change while reducing our operating costs and protecting frontline services.

“Nottingham is a leading city in the UK in terms of energy and climate change and it’s a great step forward that we can support other cities by opening up this framework to them.”

Edmundson Electrical Nottingham spokesperson, Simon Foottit said “Nottingham City Council has been a key customer of ours for a number of years and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support our local council, on such an important series of projects that will benefit the community as a whole and create further local employment opportunities.

Organisations, business and households across Nottingham have been embracing green technologies and this has shown in the city’s carbon emission statistics.  Nottingham has achieved its 2020 Climate Change target four years early, the reduction in CO2 emissions for the city now stands at a 36% since 2005. The city is also on track to meet its target to generate 20% of its energy needs from renewables by 2020.