A council-owned community centre in Banbury is set to benefit from solar power following the installation of 88 new panels on its roof.
Cherwell District Council owns the Hanwell Fields Community Centre, which it leases to the Hanwell Fields Community Association. The centre was built as part of the Hanwell Fields development.
The council and the community association have joined with social housing provider Paradigm Housing to install the solar panels. Paradigm provided funding of £28,000 to install them.
Cherwell District Council’s deputy leader, Cllr George Reynolds, said: “This installation will come as a welcome boost to the community centre, not only cutting the need for it to pay for its power, but also enabling it to sell electricity back to the National Grid.
“I want to thank everyone who came together to make this installation a reality.”
Peter Goode of the Hanwell Fields Community Association added: “We greatly appreciate the work carried out by Cherwell officers on the project and the funding provided by Paradigm.
“The project will help us maintain the building and provide a long-term contribution to the running costs of the popular community centre.
“Currently we have 25 regular user groups who hire the centre each month, and up to 700 people coming into the centre each week.”
Claire Morton, regional team manager for Paradigm Housing, added: “We’re so pleased to have been able to help fund this project, which will go a long way in helping the community centre with the cost of bills and bring money back in to the centre.
“Solar power helps to reduce a negative impact on the environment, so we are always happy to help these kinds of projects.”
The panels, which were installed by contractor Darke and Taylor, will generate almost 20,000 kilowatt hours a year to power the centre.
Any excess electricity the panels generate will be ploughed back into the national grid. The feed-in tariff agreement with the energy company is for 20 years.
Even after that, the panels will continue to provide energy for the community centre.