Wanted: Large scale solar projects

Energy Minister Brian Wilson has announced a £3 million large scale solar building trial and has invited developers to bid for a share of the money.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the initiative could lead to the construction of 12-15 large scale solar powered public sector buildings across the UK. These could take the form of schools, universities, hospitals, leisure

centres, museums and churches.

The money being made available will provide roughly 80% of the capital costs of the average Photovoltaic (PV) installation and will cover installations larger than 20 kilowatt peak (kWp). This scheme will compliment the Government’s solar housing trial which has already provided £5.4 million for 540 homes nationwide (see related story), which together constitute the lion’s share of £10 million set aside in March this year to enable the UK to “achieve a solar PV demonstration programme in line with those of our main competitors”.

“This money demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to

the development of solar power in the UK,” Wilson commented. “Everyday public buildings such as schools and hospitals will benefit from this clean energy. If a green revolution is to take place then solar energy must move from hi-tech business parks into everyday lives. I want to see tens of thousands of roofs covered by solar panels over the next ten years, rivalling the large programmes in Germany and Japan. This will only happen if developers and manufacturers in the UK and elsewhere of solar equipment invest in the future of this important industry.”

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