Solar Power

Solar power is the technology used to harness the sun's energy and make it usable.

Five more of the council’s buildings are going green since plans were approved for solar panels on their roofs.

Solar panels on roofIn 2019, Northumberland County Council declared a climate emergency. This led to ambitious plans, including a 50% reduction in emissions by 2025, and a goal to make the county carbon-neutral by 2030.

Since 2010, the council has reduced its carbon emissions by a third and Northumberland  is now ranked as one of the greenest in the country. However, we have acknowledged that we have a significant role to play in further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting our carbon footprint.

The council’s Cabinet gave the go-ahead for installing more solar panels on buildings as part of the local authority’s renewable energy programme.

The installation of panels at Dene Park House, Hexham; Eddie Ferguson House, Blyth; Stakeford Depot; Riverside Centre, Blyth and Willowburn Leisure Centre, Alnwick, will cost around £378,000.

It’s estimated the energy savings achieved over the 25 year lifespan of the panels will more than offset the cost of the outlay, as they’re predicted to save more than £440,000 over their lifetime. 

The installations will each provide nearly a quarter of the buildings usage requirements - and save approximately 42 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Construction for all five projects is expected to begin in April 2020.. 
Ambitious plans to install a high-tech solar farm at the rear of County Hall have been given the go-ahead.

Pl;an of solar panel carpark
The green scheme, which could pay for itself through energy savings, also involves creating 60 new electric vehicle charging points that will be built into the solar farm structure.

The solar farm will be suspended above the car parking spaces, and provide around 40% of County Hall’s electricity. Combined with existing solar panels on the building’s roof, approximately half of County Hall’s annual power would come from the sun.

This equates to around 240 tonnes of carbon saved each year, supporting the council’s ongoing commitment to carbon reduction after it announced a climate emergency in 2019.

The total budget for the scheme is £2.3m, which would be half-funded with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the other half paid for by the council. If the 50% ERDF grant is received, the energy savings from the project are expected to more than cover the cost of our initial investment.

We aim to have the solar farm and carport up and running by the summer of 2021.