Wrexham Council’s ambitious solar scheme saw 3,000 homes across the county receive solar arrays, in what was one of the largest solar social housing outfits in Europe. Now, residents of one of the streets lucky enough to receive solar arrays are preparing for a solar-powered tea party on June 5 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Last year the council, in conjunction with Forrest Green, fitted in excess of 25,000 locally-made Sharp modules totaling 5MW of clean capacity. The council’s solar scheme came close to not reaching its ambitious target, as a combination of the 50 percent cut to the FiT rate and inclement weather threatened to prematurely end the scheme.
However, the council was able to complete the project in time and now whole streets in the borough are clad in solar panels. One such street is Bickerton Drive in Wrexham; the site of the Country’s first solar-powered Jubilee celebration.
Terence Davies, a resident of Bickerton Drive said: “I didn't know much about solar panels before we were approached by the Council. They sent us a DVD to have a look at and I thought I'd give it a try. We've been really happy with them. We had a meter reading two weeks after they were fitted and we'd saved £3.15 off our bill in that time.”
June Owens also of Bickerton Drive said: “I'd never given solar panels much thought. I think it is a good thing for the region, and if it makes a difference to the environment then that's not a bad thing.”
Commenting on the upcoming solar-powered party, Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council, Councillor Neil Rogers, said: ”It’s good to know that we can celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and still reduce our carbon footprint. We are on our way to reducing the Borough’s carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2016 and the solar project is one of our major initiatives to meet those targets. It is expected to save up to 3,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. That’s the equivalent of planting a forest of 3,000 trees.”
The solar installations mark part of Wrexham County Borough Council’s longer-term environmental strategy, as it encourages all residents to step up their efforts in carbon reduction by becoming “climate heroes” as part of its People Power campaign.