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Schemes will help to cut bills and ensure Bradford Council uses energy even more efficiently across the district
New schemes to install solar panels on two key Bradford Council office buildings are expected to go some way to helping the authority achieve its target of providing 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
By March, both photovoltaic and thermal panels, which generate electricity and hot water respectively, are to be installed to the roofs of the Jacob’s Well and Britannia House Council offices.
The Britannia House scheme is expected to cost £63,000 to install and will generate savings of almost £10,000 a year. The exact costs and savings of the Jacob’s Well scheme are yet to be confirmed.
In addition later in the year the Council is hoping to bring forward a £1.2 million scheme to harness the flow of water at a weir near Roberts Park in Baildon. The scheme would harness the water of the River Aire at Saltaire Weir and is expected to generate 371,000 KWh of electricity a year.
The proposal includes installing an Archimedes Screw-type turbine and fish pass in the bank next to the Roberts Park side of the weir, down-stream of the footbridge.
Together it is thought that the future projects, combined with existing solar panel installations and biomass boilers generating heating for buildings such as City Hall and Ilkley Town Hall, could help to provide almost 14 per cent of the Council’s energy requirements by 2015.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, the authority’s executive member with responsibility for the environment, told the Telegraph & Argus, the introduction of solar panels at both Britannia House and Jacob’s Well followed the authority’s programme of investing in its own estate in order to save money in the long run.
“The idea is to move more people into better and more efficient facilities. This along with the hydro scheme at Roberts Park will get us further towards our 20 per cent goal.
“It’s about seizing the opportunity when it arises.
“For example at Britannia House, we are currently doing some maintenance work on the building anyway. Each project gets us incrementally towards that target.”
Of the hydro project in Baildon, he added: “If we can deliver this hydro scheme successfully, it is potentially something we may use elsewhere.”
Two of the existing schemes include electricity-generating solar panels installed earlier this year, first on the award-winning St James Wholesale Market, then on the Bradford Industrial Museum.
At the market the panels cost £125,000 to install and will produce enough power to pay for themselves in about ten years. A total of 450 panels were installed, which are enough to power 40 homes.
The Council and the Market Traders Association shared the cost of installing the photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the market and will power the refrigeration units at the market in Essex Street, off Wakefield Road.
And another 100 similar panels were installed on the roof of the industrial museum in October, which are expected to meet ten per cent of the museum’s electricity needs each year as well as generating an income through the Government’s feed-in tariff payments.