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Leading the way in saving energy costs

Fri, 27 May 2016

Hounslow Council is leading the way in saving energy costs and being one of the greenest boroughs, by putting into place the largest solar panel installation using battery storage in Europe.

Supported by the Mayor of London’s RE:FIT programme, the council has installed over 6,000 solar panels on the rooftop of the Western International Market [WIM], and is the first authority to adopt battery storage to maximise power use on site and minimise export to the national grid.

With a total of 6,069 panels, the £2m investment by the council will generate approximately half of the market site’s required electricity (3.5MW), the equivalent of powering 1,750 homes.

The project at the site, which is owned by the council in Hayes Road, Southall, is set to save the council £143,000 in energy costs per year in the first year of operation, with the FIT tariff included, it will be better off by £247,000 and will cut emissions by more than 780 tonnes per year.

The WIM site is west London’s largest wholesale market for fresh produce and flowers and serves over 80 wholesalers and buyers from across the capital.

Charles Pipe, Energy Manager for Hounslow Council, said: “We are very proud to be leading the way in sustaining energy and costs for businesses and residents. This project demonstrates Hounslow Council’s aspirations to convert Western International Market to a carbon-zero site.

“From the very beginning, this project has been about reducing our carbon footprint and making savings and investments for the future.

“Not only can we expect to see immediate savings on our electricity bills, but we are expecting to see a return on this investment within 7 years.”

To get the project up and running has seen years of hard work from the council in partnership with several key leading energy businesses including, Imtech, Revolution Energy, LG Solar, SolarEdge and Tesvolt

Bob Mills, UK Senior Solar Sales Manager, LG Solar, said: “This project will deliver significant cost savings to the borough not to mention the benefits for the wider community.

“This is our [LG’s] biggest solar panel installation in Europe. It sets the wheels in motion for further investment and research into battery storage which is set to revolutionise the solar industry.”

The success of the installation follows the Council’s RE:FIT project – a multi-authority collaboration led by the West London Alliance – being awarded Best European Energy Service Project at the 2015 European Energy Service Awards.

Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, Hounslow Council, said: “I visited Western International Market [WIM] and saw for myself the new solar panels on the rooftop of the wholesale market building, the largest such scheme put up by a local authority.

“The fact we are also the first council to adopt battery storage there to maximise the power used on site is also a great achievement. This new and extremely exciting system is generating around half of the site’s required electricity and the £2m scheme will ultimately lead to enormous savings in electricity from now and into the future for our borough, reducing our carbon footprint and making us more environmental-friendly than ever before.

“For our residents across the borough, this is something we can look to increase where possible to make savings, reap the benefits of such a system for all and become more energy efficient. It is was really interesting to hear how in the future, we can explore other opportunities in saving energy and being able to provide a greener environment for all who live, work and visit our borough. I would like to congratulate the council officers and teams who have worked very hard with different partners to get this up and running.”

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