Nottingham is planning two large solar panel “canopies” on top of two car parks which will earn the City Council thousands of pounds.
On Wednesday councillors approved plans for the first solar array at Queen’s Drive park and ride scheme which will generate £121,000 a year for the Council.
The 4,000 solar panels will export £25,000 worth of electricity to the national grid, earn £63,000 from the Government Feed-in Tariff (FIT) subsidy and £33,000 in energy savings.
A second roof at the Colwick Racecourse park and ride will have 3000 panels. Together, the expanse of the panels will be 10,500 sq metres – large enough to cover Notts County’s football pitch one and a half times.
The Queen’s Drive solar energy canopy alone will boost the amount of solar power produced on the City Council’s property by 400%, generating more than 1Gwh of renewable energy and saving 600 tonnes of carbon every year.
It will provide 50% of the power needed for Nottingham’s new electric bus fleet which will reach 50 vehicles in the coming years.
Councillor Alan Clark, City Council Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability said: “This not only boosts our reputation as being the UK’s most sustainable and innovative energy city, it will provide locally sourced energy for local people.”
More “urban energy farms” could be on the cards, he added: “There are another seven park and ride sites available and many other opportunities, such as car park roofs, that will provide some of the green energy to be supplied by our new Nottingham Energy Supply Company.”
The Council is planning to set up the first local authority energy supply company.