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Solar Panel Success

Solar power success as sunny spells generate power in Bedford Borough


Last week’s heatwave was good news for solar-panel owners in Bedford borough, as recent estimates show that power generation figures soared whilst the sun was shining!


Figures released by the Met Office show that this year’s April was the sunniest seen since 1929 according to their records. The UK saw on average 212 hours of sunshine in April, which is seven hours more than the previous record set in 1942. Bedford faired particularly well this year, enjoying more sunshine than the UK national average, with 224.5 hours of sunshine being recorded for April.


What the increase in sunlight hours mean is that solar-panels are able to generate more electricity by turning light energy into useable, green power.


Nationally, solar-panel success has broken records in power generation in 2015. The sunny weather, coupled with an increase in the number of solar panels across the country, meant that solar-generated power supplied an estimated 16% of the UK’s electricity demand in the afternoon on Friday 3rd July!


Bedford Borough Council, which administrates the Feed-In Tariff for several solar power systems across the borough, noted that the amount of electricity generated from these panels was on average 15% higher this year from April to June than in 2014. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on Allhallows Multi Storey Car Park generated over 20% more electricity as a result of the sunnier weather.


Since 2013, Bedford Borough Council has invested in a massive expansion of the use of solar panels on Council buildings alongside a series of other measures to reduce energy consumption. In total, six solar photovoltaic installations have been placed on Council buildings, consisting of a huge 780 panels in total.


Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said “We have slashed the Council’s carbon emissions through both energy efficiency and renewable energy use, saving local taxpayers’ money and saving energy.  Natural methods to generate power, such as the huge increase in solar panels installed on Council buildings and the Archimedes Screw on the River Great Ouse, are not only environmentally friendly but have also proven to be very cost-effective in keeping bills down.  During sunny spells this summer, it is good to know that more and more renewable energy is being created, for the benefit of our environment and for local taxpayers.”


Solar panel systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used by the building they are installed upon, instead of using electricity provided by the National Grid. Solar PV systems are eligible for the Feed-in Tariff which provides a tariff for each kWh of electricity generated by the system and another tariff for each kWh of electricity the system exports.


Any residents interested in fitting solar panels to their property can find advice and guidance here.

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