Historic records centre in East Sussex gets tech boost with solar panels

The Keep in Moulsecoomb is 13th council building to have solar panels installed, estimated to save 23 tonnes of carbon per year and £45,000 in energy bills.  

Archive centre The Keep holds historical documents and records from the East Sussex Record Office, Brighton and Hove City Council, and the University of Sussex. As well as preserving these important documents safely, the Keep is open to anyone – an essential resource for those researching family history, the history of their home or another building, or undertaking other studies.

Solar Panels on the roof of The Keep archive centre in East Sussex, photo courtesy of East Sussex County Council

Solar panels on the roof of The Keep archive centre in East Sussex, photo courtesy of East Sussex County Council

As well as holding on to the past, it’s looking into the future. The installation of solar panels is part of East Sussex County Council’s climate emergency plan to reduce CO2 emissions, lower energy costs and protect the environment. In 2019, the council committed to net zero emissions from its own operations as soon as possible but definitely by 2050. The interim target is to halve emissions every five years. The council encourages local residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, with practical tips and grant and support schemes. 

Work at The Keep was funded from the council’s climate change budget with contributions made by both Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Sussex. Installation was carried out by CDS Electrical Services Ltd, a company based in nearby Polegate. The company has, with Brighton-based AJ Taylor and Frankham Consulting Group, delivered 12 projects across the county since 2021.  

In addition to the 13 solar panel installations, the council has completed 20 LED lighting projects in the past two years and installed low carbon heating in two of its buildings. It has committed to invest almost £10m over three years to support efforts to cut corporate carbon emissions and will continue to work on identifying projects and additional funding to achieve its target of becoming a carbon neutral authority. 

Cllr Nick Bennett, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change at East Sussex County Council, says: ‘We are delighted to see the completion of another solar panel project, which takes us a step closer to achieving our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest. 

‘It’s projects like these, such as installing heat pumps in schools and using clean energy for street lighting, that will help us reach our goal.’

In related news:

New Nottingham website as city aims to be first carbon-neutral city in UK by 2028

Sefton to save £1.8m per year with LED lighting

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


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