Work to install solar panels on the roof of Handsworth Community Fire Station is due to begin this week as part of an ongoing effort by West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service to become more sustainable.
According to the service, the panels will help generate 'clean and green' electricity on-site, conserving vital environmental resources and saving the taxpayer around £1,300 per year. Working in partnership with regional charity Groundwork West Midlands, the scheme will also encourage more sustainable attitudes and behaviours in surrounding communities. The installation is being funded by Marks & Spencer as part of its Plan A eco and ethical initiative.
Mike Griffiths, Director of Finance at West Midlands Fire Service said: "This installation is a further demonstration of how committed the organisation is to protecting the environment. The scheme means that WMFRS can benefit from savings generated by recycling the electricity and qualifying for the Governments Feed in Tariffs" - currently 16.8 pence for every Kilowatt produced.
He continued: "It's a win-win situation for us because we are able to give something back to the community by generating electricity on site in an environmentally friendly way at the same time as saving money", Mr Griffiths added.
According to West Midlands, Handsworth Community Fire Station is the first in the West Midlands to be fitted with solar panels and work is underway to identify other suitable sites across the organisation that could take advantage of the energy generating devices.
Richard Schneider from Groundwork West Midlands said: "This scheme presents an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the value of FITs to community buildings and organisations. Once installed, the fire station will be able to operate as a best practice example within the local community, and act as a catalyst for individual and domestic action."