Singleton Environment Centre can now live up to its full green credentials with a new and improved renewable energy system.
The centre unveiled a set of new solar panels in a special ceremony in December, which will help power and heat the building efficiently.
A new 25kwp photovoltaic system has been installed at the centre to generate an estimated 27,200kwh of energy – the equivalent of boiling your kettle for a cup of tea almost 250,000 times. This will complement the centre’s improved solar thermal panel, which preheats water for the building and was recently replaced to better serve the centre’s popular Footprints café. The new larger panel will produce an estimated 2,310kwh of energy.
A TV screen installed in the reception area now shows how much electricity is being generated at the centre, and will be used as an educational tool to promote solar energy to schools and other visitors.
Any surplus energy will be fed back into the National Grid.
The new system has also been mounted onto a custom made frame to optimise light collection and reduce visual impact on building lines. The installation was funded by Ashford Borough Council and installed by Ecolution Energy Services.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by representatives from all the project partners, including ABC portfolio holder for culture and the environment Cllr Jessamy Blanford, ward member Cllr Amanda Hodgkinson, TCV’s acting regional director Alan Marchant, Singleton Environment centre manager Daniel Jones, and representatives from Ecolution Energy Services, Great Chart with Singleton Parish Council and ABC.
Cllr Blanford said: “Replacing the system on such a unique building with a north facing roof was always going to be a challenge. But the end result both preserves the beauty of the building and enhances its green credentials.”