Landmark Glasgow buildings set for solar panels

Landmark Glasgow buildings set for solar panels

Kelvin Hall

Landmark Glasgow buildings such as the Kelvin Hall, Emirates Arena and Royal Concert Hall have been earmarked for inclusion in a solar panel scheme that could save an estimated £750,000 in energy costs per year.

A total of fifteen schools, daycare centres, leisure centres and other council facilities are in line for the initial phases of the solar panel installation scheme, which will be backed by £2 million of council funding.

At present the council operates 33 solar panel arrays on rooftops across the city, generating 616,000 kWh of energy. The forthcoming installations could generate a further 3700kWp of electricity and it is anticipated that almost of all of this energy will be used within the buildings where the solar panels have been placed.

Backed by £2m of funding from the council, the scheme will draw in match funding from Salix, the UK Government body that manages solar panel funding on behalf of the Scottish and Welsh Governments, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Scottish Funding Council.

Full feasibility studies will be undertaken on all fifteen of the buildings proposed for inclusion in the first two phases of the project. A further 35 buildings will also be looked at in detail to understand their potential for taking on solar panels, which have an anticipated life span of 25 years.

Councillor Angus Millar, City Convener for Climate, sees the spread of solar power across the council estate as essential to the effort to decarbonise the city’s energy system while also easing the pressure on the council’s finances.

Councillor Millar said: “Heating and power are responsible for most of Glasgow’s carbon output and so tapping into renewable energy sources wherever we can is a vital part of our effort to tackle the causes of climate change.

“Increasing the number of our public buildings hosting solar panels gives us a win twice over. Not only does it help us move further away from a damaging reliance on fossil fuels to power our estate, but it will also give us access to cheaper, sustainable energy that will support our work to deliver quality public services.

“The potential savings from the use of solar power are significant and the cost of the investment in this scheme will be recovered in a short number of years. Buildings such as Kelvin Hall and the Emirates Arena have been lined up for early inclusion in this project, but we are looking at many other buildings across the city.

“Wherever it’s feasible, we will look to use solar energy in the city and help carry Glasgow closer to net zero.”

From an initial list of 200 buildings, fifty properties are being put forward for detailed assessments of their potential for solar power installation. Of these 50 properties, 15 buildings have been identified for priority action over two phases.

Kelvin Hall, Dalmarnock Primary School, Camstradden Primary School, Haghill Primary School, St Bernard’s Primary School, Glasgow Scientific Services, Mallaig Road Day Care Centre and Muirhead Day Care Centre are all in line for the first phase of work.

In the second phase Emirates Arena, Tollcross Leisure Centre, Bellahouston Leisure Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre, Springburn Leisure Centre, Glasgow Museum Resource Centre and Royal Concert Hall are going forward to be developed as sites for solar power.

Salix has agreed in principle to match fund 50% of costs. Once detailed costs for installation have been established for the first phase, the extent of the contribution Salix will be confirmed. Discussions with Salix over future funding remain ongoing. It is expected the total cost of phase 1 and phase 2 will be £4m.

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