English Tenants Benefit from New PV System

Sheltered housing residents in West Green, Crawley will soon be generating their own clean, free electricity thanks to the installation of 126 photovoltaic (PV) panels to the roof of their homes.

Crawley, England – February 5, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The sheltered housing project is part of the Crawley Borough Council’s Greenfields Sheltered Housing Scheme as well as the council’s wider commitment to improving social housing stock by incorporating green technologies where possible. The building already has a solar thermal system. The PV cells will generate electricity for communal facilities which serve 32 flats in the building as well as the 35 bungalows which make up the rest of Greenfields. “Carey House already has solar panels for water heating, and the addition of the photovoltaic panels shows our continuing commitment to Renewable Energy,” said Councillor Doug Mayne, executive member for housing. “Although Carey House will be the first to have photovoltaic panels, some of our other sheltered schemes and most of our hostels for homeless families also have solar panels. We believe it is important to use new technology where it is practicable.” Solar Century, who have designed the system, estimate that it will produce around 18,500 kWh of electricity and save around 8 tons of CO2 every year – that’s enough to fill nearly a half million balloons, said the company. The solar panels are Sanyo hybrid thin film/monocrystalline panels for a total of 22.68 kW. “Solar power is one of the vital sources of tomorrow’s energy and it is very encouraging to see again and again so many people benefiting form going solar,” said Jeremy Leggett, the chief executive of Solar Century. A government grant of £84,950 (US$139,700) paid for 65 percent of the system’s cost and installation as part of the government’s ongoing commitments to Renewable Energy. “I am convinced that solar power should make a real contribution to the UK’s energy mix,” said Brian Wilson, Minister for Energy. “It is now crucial that the right foundations are put in place. These projects will add to the hundreds of solar houses and buildings which the government has already sponsored. They range from leisure centers, schools and offices to business parks and modern flats. To help this source of energy really take off a new supply chain must be built. I want to ensure that the UK revolution in Renewable Energy brings with it jobs and that is exactly why I have set up ‘Renewables UK,’ a government body tasked with securing maximum benefits for British manufacturers from the rapidly-growing worldwide green energy market.”
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