Wiltshire County Council hopes to dramatically cut the energy consumption of the new Northacre Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) in Westbury thanks to a new solar array.

The council commissioned Bristol-based PV installer Solarsense to install the 318.24kWp array on the site’s roof. The PV system is predicted to generate over 280,500kWh of energy every year.

All of the solar-generated electricity will be consumed onsite by RRC which uses a mechanical biological treatment process to turn household waste into solid recovered fuel – an extremely energy intensive process.

Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for waste said: “As a council we are committed to finding sustainable solutions to our energy requirements as well as cutting costs where possible so more can be spent on frontline services. This is an ideal opportunity to use renewable energy to power a site which uses innovative technology and I’m delighted that we are leading the way in doing this.”

David Snape, commercial manager at Solarsense added: “The Northacre RRC project is a great example of how solar PV can significantly reduce consumption and deliver long-term cost savings for industrial processes. As the developer of the largest Local Authority rooftop PV installation in the UK, Wiltshire 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 county.”

The solar array consists of 1,248 Vikram solar modules across an area equivalent to seven tennis courts. Solarsense predicts that the council will enjoy a total benefit of £55,000 per annum, negating the emission of 148 tonnes of CO2 in the process.

Over the 20-year lifetime of the project the council is expected to receive a total benefit of £1.5 million and save over 2,720 tonnes of CO2.