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Solar Project for Herefordshire

Residents will be offered an exciting opportunity to invest in and use renewable energy following the announcement that the council will be rolling out solar panels across public buildings.

Last week at Greenearth Energy's 10th Anniversary Party at Treago Castle, the council committed to rolling out solar photovoltaic systems across its estate and will be inviting residents to jointly invest in this exciting project though the development of community owned energy co-operatives.

This proposal will develop a two way approach over the coming months to replicate recent successes at both Hereford Crematorium and the Leominster Community Solar Co-operative which deliver strong financial returns, reduce carbon emissions and improve local energy security.

Councillor Russell B. Hamilton, Cabinet Member for environment, housing and planning said, “I was delighted to be able to make an announcement about this project at Treago Castle in St Weonards as part of h.Energy week.  We have made a commitment to what will represent a massive project to install solar panels on public buildings that will not only reduce our energy costs and generate an income from the feed in tariff but to reduce carbon emissions in line with our objective to be a low carbon county, the impact of which will be significant.

“I am keen that those who live in the county should have the opportunity to benefit from this project and as a consequence of this we aim to offer residents the opportunity to buy shares in one of the worlds’ fastest growing markets which offers investment levels several times that of any bank.

He commended the Leominster Project that offered a 6 per cent per annum return plus the initial stake returned after 25 years.

He added: “We hope to create the framework through which others will be able to join in and to benefit thereby extending the project far beyond council owned buildings. We aim to encourage others whether they be in the public or private sector or individuals to get involved and will invite them to join our procurement process in order to maximise the potential benefits across the county and to put Herefordshire at the forefront in this regard.”

This is a key part of the council's carbon management plan's 30 per cent reduction target by 2015 and our strong commitment to become a low carbon county.