Following many other councils across the UK, Lancashire-based Halton Borough Council has expressed its intention to fit £10 million worth of solar panels to the roofs of its buildings, including schools.

The Halton Borough Council is currently calling for tenders to identify suitable roofs, determine the relevant size of PV array applicable to each roof and then supply, fit and maintain the PV systems for a period of 25 years. Halton is looking for as many as 12 framework partners to carry out the work over a four-year period.

Two separate procurement routes are being considered. In each case, tender bearers will supply and install the panels and maintain them for 25 years. However, under Lot 1 of the tender document, the council will either purchase or lease the panels from the contractor and pay for installation and maintenance. The council would then retain all of the feed-in tariff payments and generated electricity.

Under Lot 2, the feed-in tariff and generated electricity would be shared between HBC and the successful bidder. The successful tender holder would also offer an annual roof rent to HBC.

The council wants to complete the first phase of installations of up to 20 buildings by 31 March 2012. Further phases are planned after this date.

Halton Housing Trust, which owns 6,000 homes in the borough, has also been trialling solar power.