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Since 2014, Portsmouth has invested more in solar than any other council in the UK according to new research. The Solar Centre utilised council data gathered through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that explored council spending on solar installations since the 2014/2015 financial year. Portsmouth came out on top, with an investment of £4,995,707 up to 2020 in the technology. Portsmouth began a solar rollout scheme worth up to £10 million for council buildings in 2016. This helped it achieve a record amount of solar generation during the first COVID-19 lockdown last year, with the council’s solar panels – which sit on schools, offices, community centres and housing sites – generating 1.3GWh of power. More recently, it has begun work on the flagship Portsmouth International Port solar and battery storage project, which is set to be the first UK port to have solar canopies and a megawatt sized battery installed as part of a renewable installation.

Solar Power Portal 19th Jan 2021 read more »

The London Borough of Merton has invested the highest proportion of council budget into solar energy since 2015, according to new analysis conducted by The Solar Centre. Using data gathered via freedom of information (FOI) requests, The Solar Centre ranked different councils according to how much they spent on solar energy between 2015 – 2020. With budget sizes varying greatly, the researchers referenced the investment against the available budget for ‘environment’ and ‘housing.’ Having conducted this analysis, the researchers found that the London Borough of Merton has spent the most on solar energy, spending over £1.4m in the past five-and-a-half years. Proportionate to budget, this was more than £130,000 per million. Overall, the city that invested the most was Portsmouth – with £4,995,707 spent in 5 years. Portsmouth has continued to invest and since this data was collected, they have built another large 250-kilowatt PV system, installed on Hilsea Industrial Estate in October 2020. Other factors that were looked at in terms of council involvement in solar projects were the number of council-owned properties fitted with solar systems and the amount of solar energy generated for council use since 2014/15. The researchers found that Newcastle has the most solar fitted buildings, with 1,032, but by far the most energy produced for council use was in Peterborough. They have generated over 295 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Environment Journal 19th Jan 2021 read more »

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