Three thousand houses in Wrexham are to be fitted with solar panels thanks to a new £60 million scheme from the county council. The panels form part of the council’s wider carbon reduction strategy and could reduce energy bills by up to £200 per household.

“This is a hugely significant project for the Council, with an estimated overall value in the region of £60 million,” said Dr. Helen Paterson, Chief Executive of Wrexham County Borough Council. “Such investment demonstrates our commitment to reduce carbon emissions and energy use, whilst also tackling fuel poverty. The added benefit of this project is the income that will be generated by taking advantage of the Government-backed feed-in tariff scheme.”

Retrofitting of the panels on existing council properties will begin later this year, with the project due to be completed by next March. Wrexham council has awarded the project to housing regeneration specialist Forrest – the latest in a growing list of new orders for the company’s recently-launched environmental services division, Forrest Green. The panels are being supplied by Sharp Solar, which has manufacturing plant in nearby Llay. The council has yet to decide which houses are to be fitted with solar systems – its final verdict will depend on orientation and the area surrounding the property.

“The partnership led approach between Wrexham Council, Sharp Solar and Forrest will help to secure and create new jobs and apprenticeships for the local area,” added Forrest Chief Executive Lee McCarren. “It’s an agreement which typifies our collaborative approach to delivering work that aims to support regional economies and the breadth of our sustainability services.”

Andrew Lee, Sharp Solar’s International Head of Sales said, “This kind of project represents the spirit of the feed-in tariff and demonstrates exactly what it was set-up to achieve. It is an example of how intelligent investment in solar PV can create benefits over and above carbon reductions. This project will create employment and help to cut tenants fuel bills and putting money back in their pocket at a time when it is most needed.”