Henley Council to install solar panels on council buildings

A total of 179 solar panels will be fitted on to various council-owned buildings club in the town including an over-60's club, the outdoor sports centre and the ladies fitness centre.

The panels will earn £8,000 per year from surplus solar power sold to the national grid and will cost a total of £55,604 to install. The project, which will help to prevent more than 43,000 kg of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, has to be completed by November 1st in order to take advantage of Feed-in Tariffs and will be installed by council contractor Ecofusion.

Unfortunately, plans to install 40 panels at a fourth building, the Mill Meadows facility was opposed by some councillors including Councillor Dieter Hinke. "We are doing our very best to keep Henley special and Mill Meadows is a beautiful area enjoyed throughout the year" Cllr Hinke said. "Energy saving is one thing but not at the expense of the town" added Cllr Lorraine Hillier, however Cllr Ian Reissmann commented: "The pavilion is a blot on the landscape and probably the architect's own mother would not defend him as it is not suitable for that part of the river or the town but solar panels cannot possibly make it any worse. We have been talking about this all year but the advantage of doing it now is that on November 1 the feed-in tariff will change."

Eventually, members voted 13 to one for Ecofusion to install the panels on the three buildings, excluding the Mill Meadows pavilion. Town clerk Mike Kennedy said quotes had also been received from Henley Heating and Plumbing and Hazlemere Green Energy in High Wycombe but Ecofusion had already carried out surveys of all the buildings and was ready to do the work before the deadline

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