Efforts to tackle climate change are being given a boost in Salford as more than 1500 solar panels have started to be installed and will be in use by the autumn.
Salford City Council will receive £5m government funding through public body Salix Finance to upgrade the energy efficiency of the city’s public buildings.
This is intended to help the city reach its carbon neutrality target by 2038 and create new jobs.
The funding is part of £78m for Greater Manchester to support energy efficiency upgrades to more than 150 public buildings across the city-region.
The council will spend £647,828 of the fund to install 1542 solar panels on 11 council buildings including leisure centres, children’s homes and park buildings.
Councillor Mike McCusker, Lead Member for Planning and Sustainable Development, said: “We’re delighted more solar panels will soon be up and ready in Salford to help the council increase renewable energy in the city and cut our carbon emissions. This is just one part of our commitment to tackle climate change and be carbon neutral by 2038. This is a serious issue and we are determined to do what we can to make a real difference.”
The funding was the result of a successful bid from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and 15 other partners to the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
Greater Manchester-based company NPS Solar will be installing the solar panels. Salford has put forward 11 solar panel projects and 12 air source heat pump systems as part of decarbonisation of the public buildings.
The installation of panels will contribute to the Greater Manchester target to install 45MW of renewable power to the National Grid, and the installation of the heat pumps will decarbonise the heating systems in the 12 buildings resulting in carbon savings and improved energy efficiency.
It’s expected the panels will generate 477,390kWh of energy each year, with total carbon savings of 120 tonnes and savings of £67,305 in the first year they are in use.
The council reviewed its properties and selected buildings most suitable for the funding and type of installation.
The new solar panels will be installed at:
Broughton Leisure Centre
Eccles Leisure Centre
Irlam & Cadishead Leisure Centre
Little Hulton Early Years Centre
Salford Opportunities Centre
Salford Sports Village
St George’s Day Centre
Turnpike Depot roof Workshop & Salt Store
Worsley Leisure Centre
Whittle Street Children’s Home
The council has previously installed solar panels on the Civic Centre, Salford Watersports Centre, Waterside Resource Centre, Guild Hall, Higher Broughton Hub and The Limes – an Intermediate Care unit in a residential home.