Work begins on new homes in Stirling as solar panel milestone reached



(from left) Fiona Hainey (team leader property management design and projects), Cllr Violet Weir, John MacMillan (service manager, integrated facilities management) and Thomas O’Brien (site agent)
(from left) Fiona Hainey (team leader property management design and projects), Cllr Violet Weir, John MacMillan (service manager, integrated facilities management) and Thomas O’Brien (site agent)

Stirling Council has started work to build housing on the former Riverside swimming pool site.

The James Street development will consist of four 1 bedroom and four 2 bedroom cottage flats in two blocks, designed and built by Stirling Council for mainstream tenancies.

All ground floor properties will be wheelchair accessible and all properties will benefit from off street parking.

Built to the latest standards with an ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency, the completed flats will benefit from solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage. The buildings will be completed by Christmas 2017 and will provide much needed social housing within the Riverside area.

Stirling Council’s housing portfolio holder, Cllr Violet Weir, said: “Riverside is a very popular area with a high demand and I welcome this development to add to the already completed bungalows in Edward Avenue.”

This week also saw the council complete its 1,500th solar PV installation on a new build bungalow in Firs Crescent, Bannockburn.

(from left) Michael Hudson (project manager - FES), Harry Bruce (electrical foreman - FES) & Ian Mailer (divisional manager – FES), Cllr Weir, Gregor Wightman (property & private sector housing manager) and Martin Allman (Sonnen Country director UK)
(from left) Michael Hudson (project manager - FES), Harry Bruce (electrical foreman - FES) & Ian Mailer (divisional manager – FES), Cllr Weir, Gregor Wightman (property & private sector housing manager) and Martin Allman (Sonnen Country director UK)

The installation is part of an ongoing investment in renewable technology in the housing stock aimed at reducing fuel poverty, improving energy efficiency ratings and reducing the council’s overall carbon footprint.

The installation is also one of fifty properties that are also piloting the addition of a battery storage system to maximise the energy efficiency benefits of a solar PV installation.

Councillor Weir added: “With electricity costs forming such a high proportion of household budgets, it’s important that we do all we can to reduce energy costs through a range of measures, and I’m delighted to witness this latest solar panel installation.

“Combined with the battery storage system, our tenants are benefitting from the latest technology to reduce their energy costs. The savings will actually increase each year as the cost of electricity is expected to continue to rise so, this really is an investment that will continue to benefit our tenants for years to come.”

Overall, the 1,500 installations to date will generate nearly four million units of electricity each year, enough to meet the average annual electricity needs of 1,00 homes.

The solar PV systems are also expected to result in an estimated annual saving of just under £300 for each household when it comes to electricity bills.

Stirling Council has invested over £8m to date on solar PV to its housing stock and has committed to invest a further £4.25m over the next 12 to 24 months resulting in a further  1,200 properties to benefit from solar PV. This investment will be complemented by further investment in central heating upgrades and window replacement programmes as part of the Housing Capital Investment Programme over the next two years.



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