Portsmouth set to earn £100k a year through solar

Portsmouth City Council's solar PV portfolio is set to earn the local authority more than £100,000 a year, according to the latest official figures.

The portfolio encompasses more than 1/2 megawatt of generation capacity and will offset 233 tonnes of carbon, with this capacity set to increase in the months and years ahead. 

To date, Portsmouth City Council City Council's housing service has completed twelve large solar photovoltaic (PV).

Horatia House and Leamington House were the first solar photovoltaic systems installed in April 2014, each with 120 solar panels. 

So far this system has generated nearly 75,000kWh of energy - enough to supply four, three bed houses for a year.

The system has produced £10,000 in cash income and will pay for itself in about four and a half years. 

The latest projects at Highfield and Timpson Road were completed in March 2015. Each site has a total of 232 solar panels (58kWp) and is forecast to generate 50,000kWh per year with income to PCC of £17,000 across both sites. 

The sites have already generated 19,500kWh in just over two months. 

With the success of the installations to date, and after consultation with residents, the council is investing a further £400,000 this year on the installation of solar panels on large blocks of flats. 

By the end of this financial year the overall PV investment in housing will produce a total of £170,000 in income. 

"We see solar PV as a very useful technology for reducing our energy bills so that we have more money to invest elsewhere in our Housing portfolio,” said Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Steve Wemyss.

“As well as solar PV, Portsmouth City Council has been looking at its energy consumption, reducing bills for ourselves by installing LED lighting, checking electricity supplies, as well as helping our residents by installing LED bulbs, replacing older boilers with more efficient models and ensuring that where suitable and with ECO funding, our properties have cavity and loft insulation." 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues