Gedling Borough Council in Nottingham has fitted one of its largest leisure centres with PV panels by South Yorkshire-based manufacturer Nationwide Solar.

The Richard Herrod Centre is now benefiting from a 79kW solar PV system, which is expected to yield 66,500 Kw/h per annum of electricity. This will mean significant savings for the centre on its energy bills, which are expected to pay back the original investment in around 12 years.

The PV system covers a large part of the 55m by 35m roof of the building to maximise its solar yield. Nationwide Solar used Hilti frames for the solar panels and Power One Aurora Inverters for the building which is 10 degrees from south as part of optimising the solar yield.

The system is Gedling Borough Council’s fifth investment in solar PV – others have included the fitting of two 7kW systems to the Civic Centre at Arnot Hill Park in Arnold and two 9kW systems installed by Nationwide Solar to the adjacent Jubilee House buildings.

Councillor Jim Creamer, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Gedling Borough Council, said: “Solar PV is one of the main ways for the council to meet demands to save energy and to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the building and fuel bills. We looked into the opportunity to invest further into solar PV and the extensive roof area of the Richard Herrod Centre made it the perfect choice. Many of our larger public buildings are now fitted with solar panels, with the income generated from the feed in tariff reinvested for the benefit of Gedling residents.”

Russ Cowan, Managing Director of Nationwide Solar, said: “Gedling Borough Council has recognised how solar panels represent a very good investment in the future. The Richard Herron centre was the perfect choice for solar PV, as it will be able to take advantage of a large amount of free electricity generated from the sun during the day when the centre is at its busiest. It is great to be able to help the council to reap the benefits of generating an income from their roofs.”