Here comes the sun... and FREE energy
Not many people get a bird's eye view of the roof of the Princess Royal Sports Arena. This is it... now covered in state-of-the-art high-tech solar panels as the first part of a project to save and make cash to help pay for the centre's refurbishment.
Workmen installed the 364 panels in just eight days - including one day when high winds interrupted proceedings. Lincolnshire based Scenergy Ltd won the contract for the 96 KWp system, which will produce an estimated annual output of 79,000 KWh. Estimated annual carbon emission savings are 35.2 tonnes.
The panels are pinned to the roof by the weight of 3,600 special high-density bricks. Panels and bricks together weigh a total of 21.6 tonnes.
The solar array is set to begin delivering free energy to the PRSA later this week and will generate electricity even on dull days.
The green energy measures for the PRSA, which will also include installation of a wood-fired biomass boiler, were part of agreed council proposals which include agreeing lease arrangements with an operator so that the PRSA has a long-term future without ongoing revenue support from the council.
The energy efficiency measures at PRSA, together with more for the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex which already has an array of solar panels and is to have a biomass boiler, are estimated to cost £560,000 in order to generate income and savings to pay for £840,000 worth of repairs and improvements at the PRSA.
Total income generation and savings from biomass boilers and solar panels at both sites over 20 years are estimated to be £2.4 million. PRSA does not have a mains gas supply.
The PRSA is seen as important in terms of helping tackle the borough's health and wellbeing issues - unhealthy lifestyles leading to issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular illness.
The Boston Enterprise Centre in Enterprise Way, Endeavour Park, owned by the borough council, is also to have solar panels fitted.