Solar array of 800+ panels installed at Leicester City Council leisure centre

The council invested more than £1m to replace the leaky roof at Aylestone Leisure Centre and install the new 3,600m2 array of photovoltaic (PV) panels – larger than a dozen tennis courts. 

The array will generate an estimated 270MWh (megawatt hours) of renewable electricity in a typical year. As part of the works, new insulation was also fitted to the roof to help reduce heat loss. Together, the roof works are expected to reduce annual energy costs by some £70,000 per year and make the equivalent of more than 60 tonnes in CO2.

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke with the solar array in Leicester

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke with the solar array in Leicester, photo courtesy of Leicester City Council 

Construction partner Stepnell carried out the installation, under contract to the city council’s estates and buildings services. It was the first project to be delivered under Stepnell’s ‘Step Energy’ service. The installation has been supported by up to £500,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of the council’s successful bid for more than £4m of match-funding to support a range of projects aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, the installation is part of a wider programme across Leicester, investing in energy efficient improvements to council buildings to help reduce their carbon footprint and make them cheaper to run. 

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke leads on climate, economy and culture, and says:: ‘This major investment in improving the energy efficiency of Aylestone Leisure Centre represents another important step forward in the city’s response to the climate emergency. With over 800 panels, it is the largest array of solar PV panels we have installed on any of our buildings so far. 

‘The need to retrofit and decarbonise existing buildings I among the biggest challenges presented by the climate emergency, but there are huge benefits. By investing in making our buildings more energy efficient, we can dramatically cut our carbon emissions and save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in energy costs – something that is very welcome in these challenging times.’

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