Solar panels have been installed on council-owned buildings and leisure centres across South Kesteven. The solar arrays have been fitted at sites in Grantham, Stanford and Bourne as part of South Kesteven County Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The solar panels will allow the council to save £12,000 a year off its annual electricity bill and reduce the council’s CO2 emissions by over 50 tonnes a year.

Councillor John Smith, Portfolio Holder for Healthy Environment, said: “We have installed 600 solar panels at three leisure centres and a further 52 at Bourne Corn Exchange. They are expected to generate around 125,000 kWh per year in energy which will be used within the buildings.

“The work cost £338,000 which we expect to pay back in less than six years. This is a great step forward as the leisure centre will become more carbon efficient, environmentally friendly and in the long term save money.”

South Kesteven County Council will also benefit from the income generated from the feed-in tariff over the next 25 years. The installation of solar panels forms part of the council’s holistic view to energy saving after it invested in fuel efficient pool cars which reduced CO2 emissions by 10 percent, fitted new swimming pool covers at its Leisure Centres that trap heat and save gas and carries out ongoing energy-efficiency awareness campaigns for its staff.

Councillor Smith added: “Our investment in solar PV represents a great deal for the council as it provides zero-carbon clean energy as well as making our facilities less vulnerable to future energy price increases at a time of global insecurity.

“As a council we will continue to explore ways in which we can improve energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint to help generate savings.”