Islington Council to make over £1.5 million from new solar installations

Islington Council has estimated that it stands to benefit from £1.5 million following the installation of solar panels across three of its properties.

A 230kWp system of more than 900 panels has been installed at the Re-Use and Recycle Centre, while a 250kWp array at Sobell Leisure Centre and 29kWp system at the customer service centre in Upper Street will see the council save on its bills and receive an income from the feed-in tariff.

The majority of the electricity generated at each site will be used by the buildings, with a small amount from the leisure centre to be exported to the grid.

The combination of electricity savings and income from exporting this is estimated to result in the windfall for the council, based on current electricity prices. They will also save an estimated 190 tonnes of CO2 every year.

The installations represent an investment of around £739,000 which is estimated to be paid back in less than 12 years.

Labour Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said: “These solar panels are a win-win for the council and residents.

“Not only will they significantly reduce the council’s carbon footprint and electricity bills, they will also generate much-needed income, helping to reduce the pressure on the council’s budget in the long-term and help protect us against fluctuating electricity prices.

“We also managed to install them in time to catch the higher payment rate for energy fed back into the National Grid – the government has since cut the funding so brutally that new schemes are currently not viable.”

According to a council spokesperson, there are currently no plans for further investment in PV panels due to the financing challenges posed by the reduced FiT rate.

The unveiling of the panels follows a visit to Islington by Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, who announced plans for a “clean energy revolution” in the city.

Among his proposals for the capital is the creation of ‘Energy for Londoners’, a not-for-profit company that would seek to boost the deployment of solar in the capital, while both Khan and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith would ensure Transport for London adopted solar across its estate.