Stirling Council extends solar PV programme

Stirling Council is aiming to install solar PV on a further 700 properties over the next two years in order to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

The extension of its solar PV scheme builds on the previously installed 600 solar arrays across the council. Since the council began installing solar PV on suitable houses, it has generated 1.7 million kWh of free energy for Stirling Council residents. As a result, the council has pocketed an annual income of £280,000 from the feed-in tariff which has been reinvested for future energy schemes.

Commenting on the new solar arrays, Gregor Wightman, property and private sector housing manager at Stirling Council explained that the council has already invested £3.8 million in its PV programme. He added: “It is crucial that they [the solar arrays]  work at peak efficiency to recoup our expenditure. We see these assets as part of a virtuous circle, our residents are saving on average £300 a year, the council is generating £280,000 a year to reinvest in the system, and we are now saving 1,460 tonnes of carbon a year. The council of today is expected to go further for its residents and for the environment.”

As part of the scheme's extension, Stirling Council has extended its contract with energy management company, PassivSystems. The next wave of installs will also be fitted out with the company's PassivPro monitoring service. Wightman explained why the council decided to continue using the company’s monitoring service: “We’re delighted with the effectiveness of PassivPro since carrying out our first installation in 2012. The alarm facility especially has ensured we have constant feedback from our solar PV asset portfolio, and any issues can be rectified immediately.”

Colin Calder, CEO and founder of PassivSystems, said that he hoped Stirling Council’s success would help pave the way for more councils to look at installing solar. He said: “Our work with Stirling Council shows just how far local authority social housing providers have come. We have moved into a new age of energy efficiency, and with it we are seeing tangible gains for all parties, be it the residents, the council, or indeed the environment. PassivSystems is proud of the excellent results we have achieved with Stirling Council, and look forward to the partnership developing further in the coming years.”