Nottingham to build UK’s biggest solar panel canopy

Nottingham City Council is preparing to have two hefty solar panel canopies situated on top of two car parks, the first one being Queen’s Drive Park & Ride and the second one being Colwick Racecourse Park & Ride, both are to be assembled at the same time with finalization predicted by 2015.

The scheme will earn the City Council £216,000 each year, while the arrays are forecast to generate enough energy to power 480 homes annually.

The Queen’s Park solar panel system will contain 4,000 panels and Colwick Racecourse will include 3,000 panels. Together, both areas of the panels will be 10,500 sq metres, substantial enough to cover Nott’s County’s football pitch one and a half times over!

In addition to that, the Queen’s Drive solar panel canopy will help assist in powering Nottingham’s electric bus fleet, as 50% of their fuel needs will be supplied through the PV scheme at charging ports situated at the site.

The council’s portfolio holder for energy and sustainability, Councillor Alan Clark said:

“The move would maintain Nottingham’s position as one of the greenest cities in the UK.

“This is a very exciting project. It is a sound financial investment by the council.

“It will be much better for car drivers, as they will have a roof to protect their cars and we will also be able to re-charge electric buses at the site.

“The long-term hope is for customers to be able to re-charge their cars there, but this is subject to a spate business case.

“We hope that half of what is generated will be used on the site itself, for charging buses and lighting the sites, with the remainder being sold into the grid.”

The council added that the scheme will reduce carbon emissions, lower energy use and boost income from exporting energy to the national grid.

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