Doncaster to extend solar PV programme

Doncaster Council has given the green light to a second phase of its programme for solar PV installations on local authority-owned homes.

The council’s cabinet met on 11 August and approved earmarking £1.2m of its own capital to install solar PV on around 270 houses and nine blocks of high rise flats, which accommodating a total of 596 flats.

According to the cabinet report, more than 6,000 council houses have the potential for solar PV.

The report estimates that more than 12,000 households in Doncaster are experiencing fuel poverty and this second wave will help save tenants a total of £1.5m over the next 20 years - or £175 per tenant a year.

The project is also expected to generate more than £110,000 in income for the council and save an extra £3,500 in electricity used in communal areas.

Over the next 20 years, the council estimates it will save a total of £85,000 from solar panels being used to power communal areas, lights and elevators.

The report also notes feedback Doncaster Council has received from both Islington London Borough Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council that having solar on their housing stock was “the right decision”.

“The Council has given consideration to the options to fund, install and maintain solar on its housing, schools and office buildings,” the report states.

“One of these options is for the Council to invest; another option is for the Council to work with an institutional investor to enable many more properties to be included. This option will be explored and, if viable, will be taken to a later cabinet meeting.”

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