'Solar' far so good!
Since the installation was completed at Service Headquarters in Arnold almost four weeks ago, the solar panels have generated more than £500 in electricity, in addition to what Service HQ uses on a daily basis. On a sunny day up to 50kW of electricity is being generated at any one time – the equivalent of 50 1kW electric fires or 20 2.5kW electric kettles.
A similar amount is being generated at Highfields Fire Station and about 35 kW at Stockhill and 10kW at the Service Development Centre in Ollerton where solar panels have also been installed. Installation is due to be completed at Mansfield Fire Station by the end of next week.
NFRS Estates and Procurement Manager Ian Pritchard said: “Installation of the solar panels has taken no time at all and we are already seeing the benefits. As well as generating our own electricity for use day to day, we are generating a surplus that could see an income derived from the Government’s feed-in power tariff scheme.
“We are also taking a great step forward in reducing our carbon footprint, having reduced the amount of C02 we produce by 1.84 tonnes at Headquarters and 2.06 tonnes at Highfields so far. We have been very impressed with the contractors and the professional way they have worked, the quality of the installation and the support they continue to provide to the sites they have already completed.”
The system is being installed by the Nottingham-based solar power company EvoEnergy, which employs more than two hundred people from its headquarters at Chilwell near Nottingham.
Dr Kevin Hard, Chief Executive Officer at EvoEnergy, said: "We carry out installations at homes and buildings all over the country but it is great to be working so close to home and it means that Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is helping to support jobs here in the county.
"Nottinghamshire must have one of the greenest thinking fire and rescue services in the country and I want to congratulate them on the steps they have taken to cut carbon emissions as well as electricity costs."
Cllr Darrell Pulk, Chair of Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire Authority added: “I am delighted to see the solar panels up and running so quickly. The benefits we are already seeing are not only helping us to reduce our running costs and be more self-sufficient, but are allowing the Service to further carry out its duty to protect the environment and reduce its carbon footprint.
“I look forward to seeing the initiative rolled out to other NFRS premises as they are refurbished in the future.”