Skegness solar panels may make £1.7 million

The new solar panels are pictured on the roof of the Embassy Swimming Pool. Photo supplied.
The new solar panels are pictured on the roof of the Embassy Swimming Pool. Photo supplied.

SOLAR panels that were installed at the Embassy Centre in Skegness could make more double their original estimated income.

The photovoltaic cells have also come in over £100,000 under budget, East Lindsey District Council has announced.

New that the panels could make even more money for the district comes after the High Court ruled that the electricity generated by the Embassy - and three other new solar installations in the county - may be entitled to earn a higher rate energy tariff.

When drawing up the plans for the scheme East Lindsey had expected the panels to generate £875,000 in revenue over the course of their 25-year lifespan.

But that figure may now sky-rocket to almost £1.7million on the higher energy tariff.

The increase is down to a ruling that any solar panel installation completed before March 3 may be entitled to earn the higher energy rate. East Lindsey accelerated their plans to make sure they hit that deadline.

A spokesperson for the council said: “A High Court ruling in late January means the panels may generate £1,680,000 of income to support local services, as opposed to £875,000 at the lower rate, over their 25 year life expectancy.

“Even at the lower rate the panels would deliver a 119% return on investment as well as helping the Council save £13,000 per year in electricity costs and prevent 71,000kg of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.”

“The High Court ruling implies that any schemes completed by March 3 would potentially be entitled to the higher rate tariff and the council, working in partnership with local Contractor, Seymour and Castle Ltd from Louth, accelerated its original programme to ensure the deadline could be achieved.

“Confirmation from the government on these rates is expected in the coming weeks,” they added.

The solar panels cost the council £400,000. As well as the Embassy Centre, they were also installed at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth and Horncastle Swimming Pool.

Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Coun Steve Newton, said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure we were able to hit the deadline and our thanks go to Seymour and Castle from Louth who have done a great job.

“We must now await a government decision on the level of feed-in rate we will receive.

“We must continue to work hard to make savings and to reduce the impact our services have on the environment.”