A canopy over 40 car-parking spaces, featuring 448 solar panels, will deliver up to 55.7MWh of electricity per year – enough to power 20 homes.

Taking advantage of the Government’s Feed-in Tariff, and the need to buy less energy, the council expects to generate over £10,000 a year from the project.

The carport was built by Solar Cloth Company, a market leader in flexible solar panels, and EvoEnergy, a leading installer of solar panels

Councillor Allan Clark, from Nottingham City Council said: “Once again Nottingham City Council is leading the local authority green energy agenda. The sun provides an inexhaustible source of energy and it is very exciting that the city’s sites can be used to harness this power to provide green energy for our citizens. 

“Almost 15% of the energy used in the city comes from low carbon or zero carbon sources making Nottingham the most Energy Self Sufficient city in the UK. Over the next 18 months our solar panel programme will significantly build on this.”

While the UK solar carport industry is still in its infancy, UK developers have been involved in larger projects abroad. Solarcentury was commissioned last year to build a 3,300 panel solar carport in Nairobi, capable of delivering 1,256MWh a year.

Green Eden

In related news, the famous Eden Project in Cornwall unveiled its first fast-charging plug-in point for electric cars over the weekend.

Fifteen more charge points will be opened during the summer, enabling visitors to the site to charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones, who opened the first charge point, said: “Plug-in vehicles are cheaper to run, better for the environment and an increasingly popular choice for families and businesses. The government is investing £500 million in low emission vehicles over the next 5 years, including in chargepoints such as those at the striking location of the Eden Project.

The Department of Transport has provided grants totalling up to £765,000 for a rapid charging network in Devon and Cornwall.

Brad Allen

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