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Saturday 21 January 2012

Nantwich Police Station goes Green


NANTWICH police station has gone green, with the introduction of a new solar panel system which means it gets most of its energy from the sun.

The computers, CCTV system, and even small electric items are all now powered directly from the sun, cutting emissions and reducing bills.

Nantwich is thought to be the first police station in the North West to take advantage of the new technology. Middlewich will soon follow suit.

Police Authority members Michael Darby and Peter Nurse took time to visit the police station to find out more and were shown around by project lead Keith Cozens.

Keith said: "We started the project back in June but had to apply for planning permission to fit the panels to the roof of the building.

"The panels at Nantwich and Middlewich were to trial the system − now we know it is working we are hoping to roll it out to seven more Constabulary buildings across Cheshire. The idea is to save money and reduce carbon emissions."

Keith explained that using solar power doesn′t rely on blisteringly hot sunny days. "The panels don′t need sunlight, they just need daylight. Even on a cloudy day they still get what they need to power the building."

The panels at Nantwich cost around £11,000 to install and were funded via the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (NWIEP). It is expected that the panels will have paid for themselves with five years.

Gillian Bishop, Chief Executive of NWIEP said: "NWIEP has been keen to support innovative projects that not only deliver efficiencies for the public sector but also generate data and evidence that others considering similar projects can learn from. We felt that Operation Greenhouse fitted well with our wider work supporting better asset management in the sector across the North West."

Michael Darby is the Police Authority member responsible for looking at carbon management issues within the Force. He said: "The Authority has supported the initiative since we first heard about it. It′s a great way to improve the Constabulary′s green credentials and save money."

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