Edinburgh council headquarters get solar panels on roof

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the city council headquarters at Waverley Court in a major boost for alternative energy in the Capital.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 7:00 am
Co-op chair Lesley Hinds on the roof of the council offices at Waverley Court
Co-op chair Lesley Hinds on the roof of the council offices at Waverley Court

The initiative by the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC) is part of the second phase of one of the largest community-owned renewable energy projects in the UK.

ECSC installed solar PV panels on 24 council and Edinburgh Leisure buildings across the city in the first phase of the project, financed by its first public share offer in 2015.

And Waverley Court is the sixth public building to be fitted with solar panels in the second phase following a successful second public share offer in September 2020.

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Last year the first 24 installations generated enough renewable energy to power 282 homes for a year and the installation on Waverley Court is forecast to generate enough to power 41 homes for a year.

Surplus profits made by the project will be reinvested locally through a community benefit fund.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with the solar co-operative on the installation and running of solar panels on council buildings. This is funded by community share offers and is a fantastic way we’ve been able to connect with residents who want to help tackle climate change.

“As well as supplying clean electricity to the council buildings the panels have helped reduce the council’s carbon emissions, supporting our target of net zero emissions by 2030.

“Additionally, the panels generate revenue which is put to good use through the community benefit fund by supporting new sustainable energy projects across the city.”

Former council leader and ex-Lord Provost Lesley Hinds, who chairs the co-op, said ECSC was delighted to have worked with the council to install solar panels on 30 buildings in Edinburgh.

She said: “The support from the Edinburgh community and beyond by investing in our share offer, shows their commitment to reduce the carbon footprint in Edinburgh. Waverley Court is the first building to be installed in the city centre and will be a visible beacon for renewable energy in Edinburgh."

She said ECSC may be able to add more buildings to their portfolio later in the year which could result in a further share offer.

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