Solar panel job is put on hold

South Ribble Council Civic Centre, Leyland
South Ribble Council Civic Centre, Leyland
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A £73,000 scheme to install solar panels at South Ribble Council’s offices in Leyland has been shelved.

The council planned to carry out works at the Civic Centre in West Paddock to include a photo voltaic system, improvement works to the roof, electrical upgrading and installing a fire suppression system.

But the cabinet member for finance and resources has now announced that the solar panel plan has been put on the back-burner, because it became difficult to justify the work as being cost-effective in the long-run.

Coun Stephen Robinson said: “The reason the photo voltaic system has been deferred is because, after the potential energy savings were examined, it was felt that at this present moment in time it is impossible to determine if it would be to the council’s benefit.”

The cost of the project now stands at £353,000, which is £80,000 less than the council’s original budget estimate.

The roof works involve improving the roof coverings to upgrade the insulation value, whilst the electrical upgrading is necessary to replace equipment and circuits which are nearing the end of their ‘maintenance free life’, or do not accord with current standards.

The fire suppression systems are needed because the insurer of the Civic Centre has stated that without them, two rooms containing main IT servers constitute a ‘high risk of spread of fire’, and the stored documents in the Deeds Room are also at risk.

The work is due to take place over Christmas.