Shropshire Star

Solar panels plan for county shopping centre

A third of the roof at the county’s largest shopping centre could be covered by solar panels, if plans are approved.

The proposal seeks to put solar panels on the roof of the centre

Telford Centre has nearly 15 acres of roofspace with 5.4 acres suitable to house the energy-generating devices, according to a statement submitted on behalf of the Jersey-based Telford Shopping Centre Unit Trust.

Environmental planner Beverley Garner, of Wardell Armstrong LLP, writes that the “circa 4,550” photovoltaic panels would, if approved, offset more than 860 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year throughout its quarter-century working life.

Lawley and Overdale Parish Council will be consulted, and Telford and Wrekin Council’s planning department will make its decision at a later date.

Ms Garner writes that Telford Centre, which opened in 1973 and has undergone numerous extensions, “is the largest shopping centre in Shropshire and one of the 25 largest shopping centres in the country with an average footfall of circa 300,000 per week”.

“The Telford Shopping Centre Unit Trust is seeking to install a solar PV system on the roof,” she writes.

“The panels will generate a maximum output of 1,820kW of electricity to supply to the centre.

“Any excess electricity generated will be supplied to the local electricity distribution network.

“The operational life of the system is anticipated to be 25 years, after which time it can be removed or the lifetime extended.

“The proposed site area where solar panels will be installed is approximately 2.2 hectares, located on the roof of the Telford Centre.

“The roof of the Telford centre is approximately 6ha.

“No additional security measures are proposed for the PV system, once installed. It is considered that the existing site security measures will be sufficient, especially considering the difficulty for third parties to access the panels due to their rooftop location.

“The proposed solar PV would generate approximately 3,735,000kWh of renewable energy per year, enough to power circa 993 average UK households per year. This would offset approximately 863 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.”

Other roof-mounted solar panel systems in the area include those are Telford Ice Rink and the Sainsbury’s supermarket at Telford Forge Shopping Park, Ms Garner notes.

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