Working on sunshine...
Solar panels on the roof of the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex are proving the critics wrong by exceeding expectations, generating in excess of £10,000 more than predicted.
Latest data reveals that for the period from February, 2012, when the first 50kWh units were installed, to December, 2014, the system produced a total benefit of £60,787 compared to a predicted £49,319.
Installation cost just over £105,000 - 200 panels in 2012 - and the system is now estimated to pay for itself within six years. The original estimate was a payback period of eight years.
The latest returns are made up of £48,443 feed-in-tariff (income for generation of electricity) and fuel savings to the council of £12,344.
For the last full financial year of 2013/14 the system generated 50,750kWh of green electricity compared to the expected annual generation of 38,440kWh. And for the first three quarters of the current financial year alone the system has generated 39,700kWh.
Since installation it is estimated that there has been a carbon saving of almost 70 tonnes.
Cllr Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: "We hear the phrase 'no brainer' being bandied about. But in this case it is proving to be no exaggeration. Use of a clean, renewable energy system such as the solar array at the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex really has proved to be a no brainer.
"We are making money, saving money and generating electricity for our own use, and for the nation, that is clean, green and renewable. What is there not to like about any of that?
"This is further evidence of action by the council to reduce its carbon footprint and save on energy costs by making best use of the latest available technology. That is precisely why we have proposed doing the same for the Princess Royal Sports Arena."
The figures do not include extra solar power generated by a second installation last summer on the roof of the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex of a further 35.5kWh 142 solar panel system.