New solar panels at Braywick Nature Centre create green energy and help raise awareness of renewable technology

This image shows Braywick Nature Centre with the installed solar panels on the roof

Solar panels have been installed at Braywick Nature Centre to create clean and renewable energy and help educate visitors about their use.

The panels were installed after the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead launched and also registered last year with the borough-wide group purchasing scheme Solar Together, along with 1,200 residents and businesses.

Along with the solar panels, a battery unit has been installed to store energy for use in the evenings. The new infrastructure will also be a teaching tool for groups who visit the centre.

The Solar Together scheme has reopened for applications this year, with the Royal Borough joining forces with neighbouring unitary authorities to group bid for cheaper installation of solar panels for all.

Residents and businesses (with permission from the property owner to install panels) can also join to benefit from clean and renewable energy, while becoming more energy-independent, reducing their energy bills and carbon footprint.

The applications are grouped together, and iChoosr pre-vet installation companies who then bid to carry out the work through a reverse auction.

The four simple steps to join the scheme are:
1.    Householders and businesses register online to become part of the group for free and without obligation. The more registrations, the better the deal should be
2.    Pre-vetted solar installers bid for the work in a reverse ‘auction’. With many potential installers, the most competitive offers win the auction
3.    After the auction, registered households and businesses are emailed a personal recommendation, including the costs and specifications for their property for a complete solar panel installation
4.    If the recommendation is accepted, the installation details are confirmed via a technical survey, then a date can be set for the installation.

Councillor Karen Davies, Cabinet member for climate change and biodiversity, said: “Last year we took advantage of the Solar Together Scheme and the panels have recently been fitted to Braywick Nature Centre.

“The centre will be able to use clean renewable energy to run on a day-to-day basis, and any leftover can be stored in the battery which should reduce overall costs.
“The same scheme is also looking to get the best deal for residents and businesses who want to, and are financially able to, future-proof their energy source through solar panels.”

The partnership is cost-neutral for the Royal Borough and has been adopted as part of sustainability commitments to give residents and businesses the opportunity to create greener energy.

There is dedicated Solar Together assistance for residents to discuss their options. Either email or call 0800 092 0332 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

More information is available here.