45 solar panels at Town Hall

Peter Wilson outside Chorley Town Hall
Peter Wilson outside Chorley Town Hall

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Chorley Town Hall.

It has cost around £18,500 to install the 45 panels.

The electricity they generate will be used to run appliances and lighting at the Chorley Council offices.

It is expected it will take seven-and-a-half years to repay the cost of the panels through cutting bills and selling back excess or unused electricity back to the national grid.

Coun Peter Wilson, who is responsible for the council’s buildings, said: “We are constantly looking at ways we can make savings and this way we can also reduce our carbon emissions and also generate some money for the council.

“The solar panels on the Town Hall roof will convert sunlight into electricity which we can then use within the building.

“Any unused electricity will then be sold back to the national grid at a fixed rate price to generate an income.

“The panels have cost a little over £18,500 to install but by selling our excess electricity we will not only recoup that cost, we will also generate an income of over £71,000 over the next 30 years.

“And we also expect to cut our Co2 emissions by more than 90 tonnes.”

The 10 kilowatt Photo Voltaic (PV) cell system has introduced by the council in partnership with their property services team Liberata.

The panels are located on the south side of the landmark building and are visible from St Thomas’s Road.

In 2009 new lighting and insulation was installed at the council’s leisure centres.

They say the move cut Co2 by nearly 334 tonnes and bills by nearly £62,000.

Solar panels are not expected to be installed at the offices on Union Street. This is because the roof is flat and the panels need to be at an angle of 30 to 35 degrees for optimum performance – but the idea has not been entirely ruled out.

Councillor Wilson said: “We have also looked at the possible installation of solar panels on the civic offices in Union Street but that isn’t as straight forward and is likely to be more costly.

“However, it is something that could be looked at again in the future.”