Wales’ ‘Big Pit’ coal mining museum gets a solar boost

by James Martin II on December 10, 2012

Wales 'Big Pit' Museum goes solar

A Welsch museum dedicated to the nation’s industrialisation–in particular, coal mining–has installed a 50kWp solar system as an investment and to help reduce its power bills. The solar array is part of a suite of measures that the museum has implemented to reduce its environmental impact, as well as ‘green up’ its image.

The decision to run a museum about the history of coal mining on power from a new, renewable energy technology such as solar panels was not all for show; it was supported by a strong business case. The system, comprised of 200 solar panels, is expected to generate an income of about £400,000 for the museum, located in Blaenavon, over the course of the next 25 years–the typical nominal lifespan for a solar PV system and the period for which the government feed-in tariff incentive will apply .

The museum will also benefit financially from the solar system by ‘self-consuming’ the power it produces, thereby reducing its electricity bills. As the initial cost of the system was £70,000, according to the South Wales Argus, it can be deduced that the annual return on investment for the system will be in the range of 15%.

“Coal is such an important part of Wales’ heritage and yet green energy will play a major part in its future. A solar powered coal mining museum is a fantastic way to celebrate this national journey,” said Big Pit manager Peter Walker. ”But it’s far from just symbolic – the museum will benefit from huge reductions in energy bills and a solid return from the Feed in Tariff.”

Solar panels are not the only initiative that the museum has undertaken to improve its green profile. It also has comprehensive energy and water monitoring and efficiency programs in place to reduce its footprint. Energy efficiency is generally thought to be the first logical step in attempts to ‘green up’ any home, organisation, or business.

The Big Pit will not be the only museum in Wales that takes advantage of solar power’s new affordability. The National Collections Centre museum will also have a similar 50kW system installed in the near future.

The choice to go solar is becoming an increasingly popular one in the UK, thanks to the benefits mentioned above. Despite this fact, it was recently revealed that the majority of individuals do not realise this fact, highlighting the need for better communication about the economics of solar power.

More and more homes and businesses across the UK are opting to install household solar systems, solar farms, and solar parks to cut down on their electricity bill spending–and Solar Selections has helped thousands of them to make a decision. Read what our customers have to say about our service and get in touch with us today if you’re thinking about going solar.

020 7205 2267

Top image via Museum Wales

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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