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Solar array gives power to the force

by Mark Cantrell
solar panels free image courtesy of Pixabay

Police stations in Gloucestershire have been transformed in a £1.4m decarbonisation project to make them more energy efficient.

Works included the installation of air source heat pumps and a large solar array, which is expected to not only reduce carbon emissions, but substantially reduce costs for Gloucestershire Constabulary.

The project was delivered by Cotswold Energy Group (CEG), a division of South Coast Insulation Services (SCIS) Group.

CEG worked alongside Gloucestershire Constabulary to secure funding through the Salix Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) to support decarbonisation efforts across multiple sites, including Stroud Police Station, Coleford Police Station, and the Tri-Services Centre.

The heart of the project focused on replacing outdated fossil fuel boilers with bespoke renewable systems, deploying air source heat pumps to maximise energy efficiency, but the project wasn’t without its challenges.

Jon Bonnar, CEG’s managing director, said: “Asbestos identification and removal were key challenges, requiring meticulous planning and execution to minimise disruption to building occupants and their critical operations.

“Throughout the projects’ eight-month undertaking, all three sites remained fully functional, a testament to comprehensive planning and robust stakeholder collaboration.”

CEG’s innovative approach mostly reused or repurposed existing infrastructure, which it says demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, cost-effectiveness and minimising excess waste materials.

A large solar array was seamlessly integrated into the Tri-Services Centre, alongside the strategic utilisation of one-pipe system infrastructure – said to grant better control over heating within the buildings.

The solar array itself is anticipated to generate savings of £23,500 per annum. The project across the three sites is expected to deliver annual carbon savings of 230 tonnes.

Mandy Gibbs, environmental manager at Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: “It was a pleasure to work with CEG. The bespoke design of the systems for each building very effectively met our needs, in particular in Stroud where an inefficient, outdated internal heating system has been replaced by one that provides comfortable and controllable conditions for the officers and staff.”

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