Kier Harlow, a joint venture company between Kier and Harlow Council, has joined forces with solar mapping firm, Bluesky to support an ambitious scheme to install solar panels on Council-owned properties in Essex. The solar scheme aims to help residents save money on their energy bills, provide a steady income stream for the Council and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

Bluesky’s innovative solar mapping service helped Keir’s energy solutions arm to identify which of the council-owned properties would benefit most from the installation of a solar photovoltaic array.

“The Bluesky Solar Potential assessment allowed us to target properties that would provide the greatest potential return on investment,” commented Paul Slater of Kier’s energy solutions team. “By identifying properties with suitable roofs the cost of installation could be offset by the income generated by the feed-in tariff. This intelligence was invaluable as it allowed us to make initial assessments and decisions at the desktop saving thousands of pounds on site surveys.”
Commenting on solar scheme, Kier Harlow’s Operations Director, John Phillips, said: “This is a really exciting project and it is the first fully funded scheme Kier has worked on. This is just the first phase of the scheme and we have plans to install solar PV panels to further council properties once this is complete, potentially including council corporate buildings too. We plan to give each tenant a full briefing on the benefits of the solar panels and explain how they can maximise their efficiency.”

Portfolio Holder for Harlow housing, Councillor Clive Souter, added: “This is a very progressive deal for Harlow. It means residents get cheaper bills while we make big cuts in our carbon footprint. The important thing is that it has no cost to our tenants and minimal disruption as it takes just one day to install panels that will deliver cheap electricity for quarter of a century.”

Kier Harlow has estimated that those Harlow residents lucky enough to receive a free solar array can expect to slash almost £200 off their annual electricity bill.