Bath & North East Somerset Council has completed the installation of solar panels on Keynsham Civic Centre.

The 243kWp solar array is claimed to be one of the largest single site, local authority-owned PV systems in the UK. The solar installation was designed and installed by local PV company Solarsense.

The 750 solar modules are predicted to generate in excess of 230,000kWh of clean electricity every year – the equivalent of around 70 homes’ energy demand. The solar installation forms part of the council’s wider £34 million regeneration of Keynsham’s town centre.  

Commenting on the switch to solar, Councillor David Bellottie, cabinet member for community resources said: “The development is a key part of the Council’s contribution to the district-wide carbon emission reduction target of 45% by 2026. Our Council office will be an ultra-low carbon building that has virtually no heating and cooling requirement because it will have natural ventilation and high levels of insulation.

“By generating our own solar energy on-site we will drastically reduce the building’s running costs and will also generate a stable income through the feed-in tariff (FiT). Not only will this benefit the environment, it will also save the Council and local taxpayers money which can be used to support essential frontline services.”

The council estimates that the solar array will provide a benefit of around £500,000 a year, totalling almost £1.5 million across the project’s 20-year FiT lifetime. The Civic Centre’s solar installation will also slash carbon emissions by 125 tonnes each year it operates.

David Snape, commercial manager at Solarsense, added: “This project is a great example of how solar PV can play a major role in reducing a building’s running costs. As one of the largest single-site Local Authority PV installations in the UK, Bath & North East Somerset Council is making a very clear long-term commitment to carbon reduction and sustainability, as well as a very sound investment which will benefit the local community.”

Below is a timelapse video of the Civic Centre's construction: