Little Horwood Hall is now home to a 3.525kWp solar photovoltaic system, demonstrating how the technology of the 21st Century can work with the architectural style of the 19th to create a sustainable future for an old building.

Generating 2,326kW of electricity a year from just 15 panels on one side of the roof, the installation generates enough electricity to cover the hall’s fuel bills for the foreseeable future. The building has also reduced its carbon emissions by 2,753kg every year.

The panels were installed by Milton Keynes-based Solar Partner, which also helped with building controls and planning applications to ensure the work went ahead with minimal disruption to the period features of the building.  

Solar Partner utilised Moser Baer 230W photovoltaic panels, built to support the 3.525kWp system. Tony Muncey, the company’s MD said, “Moser Baer panels are the only ones with a TUV five star rating; are good value for their output and have a high build quality. The TUV system is perhaps better known in Germany where engineering standards are so high, but this standard also incorporates social and environmental measures in the manufacturing process which are important to the UK market too.”

In addition to the solar panels, Little Horwood also feaures a rainwater harvesting system, which provides water for the hall lavatories. Bob Curtis, former Chair of the recreation hall committee, helped to secure a very generous grant from the Waste Recycling Group Limited (WRG), a landfill operator which donates a percentage of its landfill taxes to environmental projects. This grant covered the solar panel installation, the rainwater harvesting system, and other improvements to the hall facilities.

Wendy Foster, the current Chair of the Little Horwood Recreation Ground Trust said, “With the electricity supplied by the solar panels, people who use the hall can now feel comfortable warming up the hall well in advance of their event, and leaving the heating on during cold snaps, without worrying about bills. The work, to such high environmental standards, has given the hall a new lease of life and secured its future at the centre of our community. I would certainly recommend other organisations to go down this route if they possibly can.”