April 15, 2011 3.56 pm This story is over 134 months old

Carholme Road Co-op gets solar power

Solar panels: The Co-op filling station on Carholme Road will generate solar electricity for itself and sell to the grid too.

Photo (L-R): David Hale, Food Store Manager, Richard Robinson, Area Manager and Julian Patrick, MD at Freewatt

Work is underway to install 42 solar roof panels at Lincolnshire Co-operative’s Winning Post petrol station on Carholme Road in Lincoln.

The filling station is the first of the society’s 200 outlets to have such technology introduced.

Work on the Carholme Road site started on Monday, April 11, and it is hoped that the panels will be installed and producing energy by the middle of next week.

Each photovoltaic panel measures 1.7m by 0.8m. They are being fitted together at a slight angle on the roof of the filling station, facing south.

It is estimated that the panels installed will produce approximately 6,400 kWh of electricity a year, around twice the amount used by an average home in a year.

Lincolnshire Co-operative has invested £30,000 in the technology, which would help the society save on electricity costs at the filling station and get payments for generating electricity fed back into the grid.

Store Development Manager Matt Wilkinson said: “Cutting our energy use has been something we’ve been working on for a long time.

“We’ll be monitoring this scheme carefully to see if we could extend the use of this technology further in our business.

“Other measures we have undertaken over the years include fitting Smart Meters to all of our outlets so we can measure where energy is being used.

“It means we can identify problem areas and come up with solutions.”

Freewatt Renewable Energy, based in Stow, is installing the solar panels on the Carholme Road station.

Director Julian Patrick said: “We’re pleased to be working with Lincolnshire Co-operative on this project in such a visible spot in Lincoln.

“It’s a great example of how renewable technology can be adopted in nearly any location. It’s a good site because it’s almost all south-facing and unshaded.

“We hope that lots of people will see what is being done at the Winning Post and it will make them think about what they could do at home or at their place of work.”