North East Lincolnshire Council eyes rooftop solar projects

North East Lincolnshire Council is eyeing plans to install rooftop solar projects on a number of public buildings in an attempt to improve energy efficiency and drastically cut energy bills.

The council has identified as many as 13 sites which could receive solar PV installations and is to work with its energy partner Cofely GDF Suez to negotiate supply and procurement contracts.

The first building to receive solar panels will be the council’s municipal offices in Cleethorpes which is expected to be up and running in the coming months. Initial property surveys were conducted earlier this year and detailed design work started earlier this month.

Proposals for the other sites, which comprise leisure centres and civic offices managed by North East Lincolnshire Council, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ray Oxby, local councillor and cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said the scheme’s intent was to save on the council’s £4 million a year energy bills.

“By introducing these proposals we can make a saving of £500,000 in 2016/17 and reduce the council’s overall carbon footprint,” Oxby said.

"We are also looking at establishing an Energy Service Company (ESCo) which would provide a vehicle to deliver projects which cannot be delivered through existing partnership arrangements.

Oxby also said the ESCo would offer the council opportunities to be more commercial with its procurement and access additional funding streams for the projects.

"It’s not just about the council's property estate, it's about working with the whole community, helping residents, businesses and other organisation outside of the borough manage their energy requirements better,” he added.