Social housing contractor Forrest has won a contract worth £3 million to install solar PV on Southway Housing Trust homes across South Manchester.

The solar installs will be carried out on tenants’ homes for free, with each solar array expected to help residents slash as much as 58% off their annual electricity bills.

In addition to carrying out the installations, Forrest will provide a fully-funded and insurance-backed 20-year maintenance service. The solar programme is being fully funded by Macquarie.

Commenting on the benefits of going solar, Karen Mitchell, chief executive at Southway Housing Trust, said: “Fuel poverty is a growing concern for our residents and rising energy prices are having a serious effect on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Solar power will enable tenants to make significant savings on their energy bills and it will also provide energy from a renewable source. This installation programme supports our strategy to help all of our tenants reduce their energy bills and help to reduce carbon emissions.”

Paul McCarren, energy director at Forrest, added: “The demand for solar PV installations on social housing stock has grown exponentially over the last few years. Install programmes are growing in size and housing associations across the UK are continuing to review how best to fund their investment programme including solar PV.

“This deal has the best interest of residents at heart. Macquarie will receive payments through the government’s feed-in tariff as part of its investment, while residents will gain access to free solar energy to reduce bills.”

The solar project forms part of Forrest’s wider three-year contract with Macquarie to install residential solar up to £120 million. In addition, Forrest has a £50 million commercial solar initiative with Macquarie.