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New solar panels 'will be more discreet'

New solar panels will start going up on the first of more than 70 Council homes from Monday.

Scaffolding has been erected to prepare for the installation of the panels, which have been described as "thinner and less visible" than in the past.

Liz Stevenson, Communications Officer for the Smart Energy Islands project, told This is Scilly that the panels have been chosen to be as affordable and sympathetic as possible.

She said: "We’ll have a little room down at the PEC (Porthmellon Enterprise Centre) where people can come and look at all the equipment if they’re worried about what it looks like or how big it is.

"Some of the older-style solar panels that people may be familiar with are a bit clunky and obvious. They have an aluminium border so you can see them against the roof line. The ones we'll be using now are thinner, lighter and have a black edging so they stand out less. They’ll be on the roof, not tiles in the roof."

She added: "In some places they’ll be more visible than others simply because of the lie of the land. In other places they won’t be that noticeable at all. But we’ve tried to do it as sympathetically and discreetly as possible."

It is hoped the new panels will eventually generate more than 60% of the total solar energy capacity installed on the islands. Overall, the Smart Islands programme is aiming for 40% of all energy on the islands to be renewable by 2025. This will be achieved from a mix of renewable energy types, including solar which is the first to be installed.

Last summer, 105 Council homes were surveyed by renewable energy specialists Natural Generation for their suitability to host rooftop solar PV panels and other energy efficiency equipment. Now, more than 70 homes will host new solar panels and 100 homes will benefit from energy efficiency measures.

Installations will take place at 100 homes, with work being completed in eight or so each week. The programme is expected to end in late August.

The Smart Energy Islands project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

#council #smartislands

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