Solar panels take council a step closer to carbon target

HUNDREDS of solar panels are being installed on the roofs of council buildings across the county boosting ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The project is the latest in East Sussex County Council’s efforts to reach its ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest.

A total of 156 solar panels have already been fitted to Milton Grange in Eastbourne, 172 panels have been installed on the roof of Sackville House in Lewes, and 69 panels have been installed at Hookstead Resource Centre in Crowborough. Work to install 203 solar panels at Lansdowne Children’s Centre in Hailsham will completed in April 2022.

The latest project has seen 128 solar panels installed on the roof of County Hall, doubling the number of panels on the building in Lewes and helping the council save more than £5,000 a year in energy costs.

Cllr Nick Bennett, the county council’s lead member for resources and climate change, said: “The additional panels at County Hall will helps us save around 11 tonnes of carbon per year – three times the amount we were saving, and the equivalent of planting 525 trees.

“We have been able to cut our carbon emissions by more than 60 per cent since 2008 but we know that we have a long way to go. It’s projects like these that will be vital in helping us move towards our ultimate target.”

He added: “A welcome bonus of this project is that 100 per cent of the energy generated will be used to power County Hall.  The panels are expected to produce an average of 40.7 MWh per year.”

Working with contractors – Polegate-based Corin Dudley Electrical Services and Brighton-based A J Taylor Electrical Contractors, solar panels will be fitted to a total of six county council-owned buildings in the first phase of the programme, with more in future phases.

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprints, East Sussex County Council has already installed energy efficiency measures in its buildings and provided renewable electricity for its officers and libraries, and for street lighting and traffic controls.

A programme to improve the energy efficiency of more than 14,000 streetlights is almost complete and has already resulted in a reduction of more than 250 tonnes of CO2 from street lighting – about 12 per cent of total street lighting emissions.

The county council has recently committed to invest a total of £9.1 million to support the efforts to cut carbon emissions and continue to work with partners and MPs to identify projects and additional funding that will help it become a carbon neutral authority and enable residents to reduce their own carbon footprint.

More information about the actions the council is taking to cuts its carbon footprint can be found at