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Solar plan is way to beat rising fuel prices

SOLAR panels are to be fitted to 15 high-rise flats in the heart of north Solihull.

SOLAR panels are to be fitted to 15 high-rise flats in the heart of north Solihull.

The devices have already been installed at seven tower blocks in Kingshurst and Chelmsley Wood.

Now the success of the project has persuaded housing chiefs to fit the panels on other local buildings.

By harnessing solar power, the panels can generate enough electricity to help light communal areas.

While the flats must still rely on other sources of power to keep the lights on through the night, the technology has significantly reduced CO2 emissions.

Matt Cooney, chief executive of Solihull Community Housing, said: "Installing the panels will help to protect us against the rising costs of fuel and this project is also an important part of our climate change strategy."

Low Carbon Buildings, a Government-run programme, has provided £240,000 to help fund the new batch of panels.

The project has sparked the interest of Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, who yesterday visited Kingshurst's Redwood House.

She said: "At the time of everincreasing energy costs, it is important for organisations such as Solihull Community Housing to look at alternative and sustainable sources of energy.

"I commend them in their efforts and look forward to similar schemes being rolled out across other high rise housing to provide community energy."

Once fitted to the building, the panels will work for around 30 years -because they require very little maintenance the running costs are minimal.

 

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