Library chief books a bright future for Staffordshire Libraries
Libraries across Staffordshire are the latest county council buildings to get a boost from renewable energy.
Thirteen library buildings have been fitted with solar PV (photo-voltaic) panels as Staffordshire County Council continues to deliver on its commitment to make savings, reduce carbon emissions and boost the use of renewable technology.
The scheme is expected to cut £11,618 from the authority’s electricity bills for the first year, with a further £26,000 to be gained from the Government’s Feed in Tariffs.
The £450,000 investment in libraries from the council’s Corporate Priorities Fund is expected to be paid back within 9 years, and will put Staffordshire at the forefront of renewable technology use.
Alongside the range of existing and planned biomass boiler installations and the exceptional energy efficiency of the county council’s new Staffordshire headquarters, the use of renewable energy will cut the council’s carbon emissions by 84 tonnes per year.
The scheme has benefitted from the Government’s Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) which was introduced to stimulate the market in small scale renewable projects, by paying for each KWh of renewable energy generated from solar panels.
Staffordshire County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Environment and Assets, said the scheme was an opportunity to bring real benefits to the people of Staffordshire, and by working with local private companies, provide a boost to the local economy.
“Each library fitted with solar panels has a public facing meter installed so that residents can see for themselves how much energy is being generated.
“Solar power offers a big win for taxpayers,“ he continued.
“It saves us money and reduces our dependence on the energy grid. Combined with biomass heating and the hugely energy efficient Staffordshire Place, we are leading the way in value for money and renewable innovation.”
Library chief, County Councillor Pat Corfield added: “We are a forward looking library service that is keen to embrace state of the art technology to improve the benefits to local people whilst saving the council money.
“Solar panels are the latest in a series of recent innovations, including a brand new computer library management system, self service kiosks and free Wi-Fi, aimed at transforming Staffordshire’s libraries into a service fit for the 21st Century.
“At a time when many local authorities up and down the country are threatening to close facilities, Staffordshire County Council will continue to invest in library services that offer even more to their communities.”