The London Borough of Hounslow has installed more than 6,000 solar panels on a wholesale market rooftop.
The £2 million project is a “great scheme” for the public sector, according to Energy Manager Charles Pipe.
He told ELN the 1.7MW solar installation will lead to significant savings: “By installing the solar panels we can cut the consumption by nearly half – 40% to 45% – which is huge and we are probably looking at a saving of £145,000 in electricity bills.
“That coupled up a FiTs [Feed-in Tariff) incentive gives us a saving and an income of about a quarter of a million pounds a year. So knowing all of these in the background we knew we had to go ahead with it but in terms of austerity, in terms of budget cuts, where are we going to get the money from? With various discussions in the council and finance they actually came up and said look we can fund this from our capital reserve so that was fantastic.”
The council expects to get returns in five years’ time.
The solar panels are connected to a battery storage system which stores the electricity generated during the day to power the market at night.
Mr Pipe added the project will also help the region achieve it’s carbon reduction target as it saves 780 tonnes of emissions per year.