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Plymouth To Replace Street Lights

Plymouth would like to replace every street light in the city (there are 28,000 of them) using LED bulbs that are more energy efficient than a standard type of bulb. This project is part of an energy saving strategy costing £13 million. They also wish to install solar panels on 19 buildings that the city owns in an endeavour to reduce costs and the city’s carbon footprint. Another aspect of the project will be to replace inefficient and dated boilers.

A meeting of the city’s Cabinet is scheduled to take place on 12th February 2013 when it is hoped agreement can be reached so that the council can start on an energy programme scheduled to run for 4 years.

Pre-war Plymouth city centre
(image credit: Richard and Gill)

According to Councillor Mark Lowry who is the Cabinet member for finance, it is estimated that the project will result in a massive saving of £1.5 million per annum over a 20-year period as well as reduce the emission of carbon by anything up to 3,200 tonnes per annum.

The city appear to be getting right behind the installation of solar panels as they have already been fitted to four council buildings at Frederick Street Youth Centre, Douglas House, Martins Gate and Midland House. The solar panels on these buildings are capable of generating 82.5kW of electricity. These buildings should save anything approaching £11,000 per annum and emissions of carbon should drop by 37 tonnes per annum.

There are 14 large schemes under consideration and planning approval is awaited for solar panels to be placed on the Council House.

Councillor Lowry believes that the schemes are intended to save money for residents who pay council tax and increase the environmental friendliness of the city. Apparently, the new street lighting will not use as much power nor will they require as much maintenance. They are also forecast to reduce crime that takes place when it is dark as the lights will be brighter.

It is expected that the solar panels will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of the council buildings but there is unlikely to be any surplus that could be sold back to the National Grid.

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