Nottingham lights up solar carport

The 354-panel solar array will generate 79,874kWh of on-site energy across nine separate, specially-built roofs at the Ken Martin Leisure Centre, owned by Nottingham City Council.

Completed between November 2015 and January 2016, the Ken Martin solar carport was completed before the Government's recent cuts to the Feed-in Tarriff (FiT). The system is on course to pay for itself within 11 years, after which point it will earn Nottingham City Council an income for the remaining nine years of the FiT.

Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for energy and sustainability Alan Clark said, “Car parks, although serving a practical purpose and very necessary for our thousands of customers that visit our leisure centres, are not usually seen as cutting edge, It’s really exciting that we have been able to extend the usefulness of this space and invest in a green energy supply for Nottingham.”

The announcement comes in the same week that the UK’s first two installed solar carports received a pair of national awards following their recent completion. The two 150 Kw systems, built on the top decks of multi-story car parks in Exeter, picked up the Most Sustainable Public Sector Project (Innovation Award) at the Public Sector Sustainability Awards in London and the Innovation Award at the Western Morning News Business Awards. The 500-panel carports impressed judges for their capacity to generate 285,227 kWh of free electricity and save more than 150 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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