Leominster Community Solar is aimed at generating solar electricity for a community building in Leominster and provide an opportunity for local people to invest in clean, green, renewable energy at the end of their street on a much larger scale than would be possible on an individual home. This will enable those who either don’t own their own home or don’t have a suitable roof, to help save carbon locally and benefit from the available incentives for renewable electricity.
The 49kW solar photovoltaic array has been installed on the tennis hall at the Bridge Street sports centre in Leominster. This building has a curved roof that is south-east facing. This will generate in the region of 42,000kWh a year and save the equivalent of approximately 22.5 tonnes of CO2 for each of the 25 years it is planned that it will be in operation.
The building is operated by Halo Leisure, a locally based social enterprise that operate leisure facilities on behalf of Herefordshire County Council. Their electricity consumption outstrips what the panels will be able to produce, even in the height of summer, meaning that virtually all, if not all, of the solar electricity generated will be used on site – reducing the sports centre’s consumption of grid electricity. At times when this is not the case, electricity from the panels will be fed directly into the grid. This is metered so the Leominster Community Solar Co-op will still receive an income for all the electricity produced, as well as the Feed in Tariff.
In exchange for hosting the solar roof, Halo will receive a discounted price for the electricity, compared to what they currently pay and they will have greater price security than they currently have, when buying on the open market. In addition, Halo see this as an integral next step in their plan to reduce their carbon emissions, which they are committed to doing at all of their Herefordshire sites.