West Sussex County Council is to invest up to £3 million in the roll-out of solar across schools in the region in a scheme intended to create new revenue for the council and save the schools millions. Following a successful pilot in 2015, the local authority’s Environmental & Community Services Select Committee approved an expanded programme to install solar PV systems in up to 52 additional schools in 2017/18. The original plans put forward by the ECSSC suggested between 38 to 48 schools however this could now increase, although they were unable to confirm an exact number.
Thousands of new and existing homes are to be fitted with a range of low carbon technologies including integrated solar PV and battery storage systems as part of landmark funding agreement for the Swansea Bay area of Wales. UK and Welsh government ministers signed the Swansea Bay City Region (SBCR) deal on 20 March which secured £1.3 billion for the region, one of the biggest investments to ever be secured in Wales. Among the various programmes to be in initiated using the SBCR funds is the Homes as Power Stations project to be led by Neath Port Talbot Council.
The Isles of Scilly are to be used as a test hub for smart energy technology in a £10.8 million project backed by the EU and Hitachi. The project will see rooftop solar panels and new energy management systems installed on 100 council-owned homes, about a tenth of the islands’ housing stock, with the households receiving discounted electricity. Ten of the homes will also be fitted with batteries or other technologies to help manage lags between supply and demand. A subsequent phase of the Smart Energy Islands project is expected to see electric cars deployed on the archipelago, with their batteries also used to help manage supply and demand. By 2025, the project aims to cut electricity bills by 40 per cent, meet 40 per cent of energy demand from renewables and for 40 per cent of vehicles on the islands to be either electric or low carbon.
Stirling Council completed the 1,500th installation of solar PV on its housing stock earlier this week and paved the way for battery storage to follow its lead. The install was completed on a new build bungalow in Bannockburn earlier this week as part of a wider renewable investment scheme launched to alleviate fuel poverty and reduce the council’s carbon footprint. To date more than £8 million has been spent on delivering the solar rollout, and the council has now committed to invest an additional £4.25 million over the next two years to install solar on an additional 1,200 homes. And battery storage technologies could also feature in future installs should the results of an initial pilot scheme in 50 homes be deemed a success.
Transport for London (TfL) is preparing the imminent launch of a tendering process for new solar installations on its own buildings, Solar Power Portal understands. Plans for a roll-out of new solar PV are currently being drawn up by the network’s energy and carbon strategy team, which will use the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) RE:FIT programme to procure solar and some energy efficiency measures.