Taunton swimming pool installs solar roof panels

A municipal swimming pool in Taunton, Somerset, has installed some high tech solar roofing panels which will generate enough electricity to power the daily consumption of ten households.

A total of 146 solar PV panels were installed on the building, the work being commissioned by Taunton Deane Borough Council and carried out by Earth Elements Ltd of Barnstaple. The total cost is around £70,000 funded from the council's Climate Change budget and the panels are generating around 90 kWh each day which will be used exclusively for the pool itself. This compares to 9 kWh per day used by the average household.

Taunton Deane will receive a Feed-in Tariff plus an extra amount from selling electricity on to Tone Leisure at a discount. In total this could amount to an income of £10,000 per year over a period of 25 years, the expected lifetime of the array. The panels themselves are manufactured in the UK and come with a 25-year performance guarantee with certification to withstand winds of up to 112 mph. They are completely unobtrusive being virtually invisible from street level. Visitors however will be able to see a large LCD visual display in the pool reception area which will convey information concerning the array's performance including the electricity generation, total energy generated since commission and total carbon saved. The array is expected to save around 18 tonnes of CO2 per year.

"I'm delighted that this project has now been completed" said Cllr Ken Hayward. "Through it, not only does Tone Leisure benefit from reduced electricity costs, but Taunton Deane Borough Council, and, therefore, our rate payers, also benefits from a new revenue stream created from renewable energy. Taunton Deane Borough Council is also showing the ways for companies and individual households to embrace renewable energy."

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