A project to install a 40kW solar photovoltaic installation on the rooftops of Norwich City Hall looks set to be given the go-ahead, when the City Council’s cabinet meets next week.

The project will benefit from a portion of the £235,000 of budgeted capital expenditure, which was set aside to finance investment in solar energy generation or other alternative energy supplies on the council's operational property assets.

With an annual electricity bill in the region of £110,000, the council wants to cut its rising energy costs, as well as make money by selling electricity back to the National Grid.

However, the race is now on to get the system up-and-running before Government’s feed-in tariff cuts take effect in April 2012. The system has potential to pay for itself within a 13 year period – but only if it is installed by the end of March next year.

“This is a way in which we can lead by example when it comes to making a contribution to the environment,” said Brenda Arthur, the leader of Norwich City Council.

“While a decision has yet to be made, we are very positive about this. This is a consequence of us finding new ways of working in a climate where we are having to make cuts. It is saving money, but will also generate income for the council.”

The council will now apply for consent to install solar panels on the grade II listed building, as well as putting out a tender for a company to install the system.

The council said it is not yet in a position to announce a start date.