solar panel - Nantwich Civic Hall - June 2021 - forthcoming events (1) (1)

Nantwich councillors look set to sign up to a new community solar panel scheme which could save them around £1,400 a year in energy costs.

The scheme, run by not-for-profit Nantwich Mill Community Energy Company (NMCEC), would involve installing solar panels across the roof the Civic Hall on Market Street.

It would provide “green” electricity which would be 20% cheaper than the market rate.

Installation and maintenance of the panels is free under the scheme so there would be no up front costs to the authority, said NMCEC spokesman Jeremy Herbert.

The scheme has £100,000 of investment and those behind it are hoping to sign up large organisations and businesses in the town centre to take part.

Mr Herbert told councillors at their recent meeting: “We would assess the building and the agreement is for 20 years. Experts will install and maintain and carry out any repairs when required.

“The panels would be owned by NMCEC, and any surplus energy would be sold back to the national grid.

“This scheme has no up front costs, helps the environment, is professionally run and supports the local community.”

NMCEC is partnering up with established companies Locogen Consulting and Sharenergy Ltd to run the scheme.

Mr Herbert said nearby Reaseheath College is also having panels installed as part of the scheme.

“We need to sign up 10 businesses or organisations and then launch in the spring with a community share scheme.

“People can buy community shares and this will help raise the funds needed to buy the solar panels.

“We could be installing the panels as early as summer 2023.”

Cllr John Statham backed the idea, saying: “This is a really well thought out and professional scheme and it’s great to have a team of experts to take this on.”

Cllr David Marren added: “This is really positive, there is almost zero risk to the council, no investment needed and we are going to get 20% off our energy bill, even if market prices go up or down.

“And all from an organisation that has grown up in the community, and one we can trust. This is as safe and sound as you can get.”

Nantwich Town Council voted unanimously to endorse the scheme in principle.

Anyone who wishes to find out more about the NMCEC scheme can contact them on [email protected]

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