How Blackpool is set to harness the power of the sun to generate electricity

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Blackpool is investigating how renewable energy from the sun, wind and tides could be captured

Sunshine has always been important to Blackpool – helping draw in millions of tourists to its famous beaches and Promenade. And now council chiefs are also capturing the sun’s rays to help power key public buildings in the resort including the Winter Gardens.

The Victorian complex is among council-owned buildings which also include Palatine Leisure Centre, Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre, Starr Gate Tram Depot, the Sandcastle and Layton Depot where solar panels are starting to be fitted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Solar panels will be fitted to more public buildingsSolar panels will be fitted to more public buildings
Solar panels will be fitted to more public buildings | n/a

Work is due to be completed to install solar power at the Winter Gardens, with panels capable of generating around five per cent of the building’s requirement. This could lead to potential savings of £1.2m over 25 years with the cost of installation paid for in around four years.

A report to full council by Coun Jane Hugo, cabinet member for climate change, says “Blackpool is an excellent location to explore renewable power sources such as wind, tidal and solar”.

Coun Hugo adds: “The review of assets also identified a fantastic and exciting opportunity which could make a significant contribution to Blackpool’s renewable energy ambitions through the potential for a ground-based solar farm at Blackpool airport.”

Here are some of the renewable energy projects under consideration:

  • Solar farm at Blackpool Airport – The potential £14.2m scheme, which would not affect the operation of the airport, would generate around 18.7 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity annually, enough to power 6,000 homes or 75 per cent of the council’s annual electricity requirement. The proposal is currently in detailed appraisal.

Wind turbines at the Solaris CentreWind turbines at the Solaris Centre
Wind turbines at the Solaris Centre | National World
  • Wind power – Locations are being looked at for more wind turbines, to add to existing turbine including at the Solaris Centre on South Promenade. The council could also benefit from renewable energy from offshore wind farms planned for locations in the Irish Sea.
  • Wave and tidal resources – The UK is estimated to have around half of the potential wave and tidal resources in Europe and with one of the highest tidal ranges in the UK, the Fylde could be a suitable location. There is currently work ongoing to develop a scheme on the Fylde estuary, although projects have struggled due to the finances involved.
  • Housing – Recently built council houses at Grange Park have been fitted with heat pumps and solar panels which are helping residents keep their energy costs down.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.