Victoria Leisure Centre has become the City Council’s 43rd commercial solar site as the authority builds on its renewable energy capacity to further reduce its running costs and carbon footprint.

The new solar roof at the Victoria Leisure Centre will generate free green electricity for the use of the centre, saving an estimated £4,000 a year, and generating an income of £1,500 for the council via the Feed in Tariff (FIT), a Government subsidy for the generation of renewable electricity.

Green energy savings are really beginning to add up, with the centre already able to reduce its energy demand for lighting by 64% through the installation of a state-of-the-art LED lighting system by the council’s Energy Projects Service this summer.

In 2010 the centre, which is over 100 years old, underwent a £9m refit to modernise it. The green energy generated will be used power the facilities there including a six-lane, 25m swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and a separate children’s splash area.

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 Service 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.

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.
Councillor Dave Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council, said: “The money saved on Victoria Leisure Centre’s energy bill will ensure that this much loved community resource continues to be a viable service for the local population. Solar energy will save the authority money on energy and generate a return through green energy subsidies. Considering the positive environmental benefits too, this is great all round for Nottingham.”

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