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Solar panels power car park

22 September 2023
An image of Councillor Briars-Delve, crouched in the foreground in front of a row of solar panels located on the roof of the Theatre Royal car park
Councillor Briars-Delve photographed with the new panels on the roof of the Theatre Royal car park

We've installed 222 new solar panels on the upper roof deck of the Theatre Royal car park to help catch rays to be transformed into green energy.

The panels will power the entire car park plus provide some excess which goes back into the Plymouth grid.

The total installation can produce up to 94kWp per year, saving up to 17 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year; the equivalent to an average petrol car driving from Lands End to John O’Groats and back again 47 times.

It follows on from the currently-under-construction first phase of the Civic District Energy Scheme which shares low carbon resources to heat, as well as partially powering, buildings around the Civic Square.

In time, the panels will also help to power new heat pumps installed at the Guildhall and the Council House, either directly through a connection, or virtually by using smart monitoring to balance the solar electricity produced with the electricity consumed by the heat pumps.

It's all part of our bid to decarbonise Council buildings, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and ensure that we meet our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Tom Briars-Delve, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change, said: "This is yet another example of where we have used innovation to reduce our carbon footprint.

"As one of city's top tier organisations, it is our responsibility to lead the way with schemes like this and set an example of what can be achieved in the journey towards carbon neutrality."

The Theatre Royal Car Park currently has over 550 spaces and already has an electric vehicle station with two charging points and more planned. The installation of the solar panels is on the upper deck in 50 bays that are seldom used by drivers.

The scheme was funded through the ERDF EU Interreg as well from the Community Infrastructure Levy.