Market town ‘to become solar powered’

An energy firm has offered to install solar panels on each of the 21,000 homes and businesses in its local area after winning funding that could lead to Britain’s first renewable energy-powered town.

Coucillor David Wise is one of the first to get the solar panels put on his house

Residents of Southam, a market town in Warwickshire, could become the greenest community in the country after a local business announced it would supply and install the technology for free.

The firm said it would benefit from the deal through the Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme, which offers cash rewards for using sustainable energy, and said residents would be able to save up to £30 million on their electricity bills.

If enough solar panels were placed on a roof it would be possible for a family to reduce its energy bills to zero, the company claimed.

EOS Energy, which is based in Southam, was able to offer the technology for free to all homes and businesses in the town and its surrounding villages after being awarded £20 million of funding by an unnamed private equity firm.

It is unclear how much of the Feed-in-Tariff profits, if any, will go to its financial backers.

If enough families and businesses take up the offer, it is thought that Southam could become the first predominantly solar-powered town in Britain.

The Photovoltaic panels convert the energy stored in sunlight into electrical current using silicon because it reacts differently under light than most materials, which would produce heat.

Not all of the homes and businesses in the town have roofs suitable for installing solar panels, but they can also be set up at ground level.

Lee Summers, director of EOS Energy, said: “There is no reason that rooftops across the whole of Britain could not be used as batteries to power all our towns and cities with renewable energy.

“At present the UK is lagging behind other European countries such as Spain, Germany and Belgium in its commitment to creating electricity this way. We intend to play our part in changing that.”

The Telegraph

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