Tewkesbury Borough Council is installing a solar panel canopy at the Public Service Centre on Gloucester Road that will generate up to 260,000 kWh of renewable electricity which can be used by both the council buildings and the leisure centre.
The solar canopy will help the council and leisure centre reduce their carbon footprint and provide ongoing financial savings.
The power generated is equivalent to around 70% of the council’s electricity demand.
By using less energy form the grid and less fossil fuels, the council’s greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by around 76 tonnes a year (which looks like 76 hot air balloons).
Expected energy savings will be around £45,000 per year. The electricity generated will also make it easier for the council to replace gas fired boiler systems and introduce low carbon air source heating technology in the future.
The project is benefitting from a grant of up to £284,200 from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme though the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Councillor Jim Mason, lead member for Clean and Green, says: ‘It’s an exciting time for the council as we work towards our greener ambition of reducing out carbon footprint and make real savings. By tackling rising electricity costs, this investment will help keep running costs low, which means the council can keep delivering key services to the public.
“Measures like this, which are steps to help tackle climate change, are important if we want to avoid the increasing number of extreme weather events linked to climate change, such as flooding.
“The council declared a Climate Change Emergency in 2019 and has committed to becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030. The solar canopy is a significant part of the plan to reach this goal.”
Work to the solar canopy have taken place throughout May and June, with the structure due to be completed later this month. The solar panels will then be connected to the council building and leisure centre buildings and start generating electricity.