Labour-led Exeter City Council has made an investment in solar panels that will see it set to overhaul the Met Office as the owners of the largest number of solar panels in the city. 800 panels, which are up on two roofs of the Civic Centre and three other sites across Exeter, will have a capacity of about 200 kilowatts – that’s the equivalent of 50 standard domestic solar panel systems. They will deliver an on-going reduction in the Council’s energy costs as well as reducing its carbon footprint. The other buildings benefiting from the green initiative are Oakwood House, the Materials Reclamation Facility and the Ark – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum’s storage facility. Together, the solar PV systems on the four buildings will generate approximately 184,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power the equivalent of 53 houses – saving over 97 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The city council is working on schemes for placing solar panels on other buildings including building canopies above the top deck of car parks. After the next phase there are likely to be more than 1000 panels, the number located at the Met Office HQ.
Cllr Ian Martin, Lead Councillor for Business Transformation said: “Installing solar panels on our buildings is an attractive proposition with significant financial returns. This really is a good time to benefit from solar energy and at the same time re-stamp our green credentials and commitment to renewable energy.”