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Lincoln youth centre educating next generation with solar panels

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

Exciting project:  The Showroom in Tritton Road has been equipped with solar panels

Exciting project: The Showroom in Tritton Road has been equipped with solar panels

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A popular youth activities centre in Lincoln has been equipped with a new array of almost 200 solar panels.

It is hoped the 50kw system at The Showroom in Tritton Road will help to educate young people about the importance of generating green energy.

The roof-mounted technology will cut the building's energy bills, reduce its carbon footprint and power its air conditioning units. Lincolnshire YMCA, which owns and runs the centre, says the kit will also add to its collection of energy-saving systems.

Dean Graham, business manager of The Showroom, said: "Irrespective of your views on global warming, fossil fuels are a finite resource that we have been mining for a considerable period of time.

"Moving to renewable energy sources is important for our sustainability and educating the next generation on why solar, wind and tidal energy sources are vital for their generation and the generations after them."

Savings from the solar panels, which are on three separate levels on the roof, will repay the initial investment in around six years.

It means the gear, which has a life expectancy of 20 years, will substantially reduce the centre's energy bills at no extra cost for the remaining 12 years.

Around 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be kept out of the atmosphere each year as a result of the technology.

Mr Graham explained the Lincolnshire YMCA was assessing its other sites to see how they could benefit from other green energy systems.

He said: "The Showroom made considerable efforts to reduce energy consumption where feasible during its conception. We use low energy lighting and LEDs where possible, we have exceptionally efficient boilers and now all of our air-conditioning units will be run by solar generated electricity.

"We are actively looking at our other sites to see if they would benefit from green technology."

The solar panel array was installed by renewable energy specialist Freewatt, based at Stow near Lincoln.

Julian Patrick, managing director of the firm, said: "We're proud to be associated with the YMCA.

"The Showroom has been a really exciting project that has made a significant difference to the city and we're delighted to be helping to continue the viability of the project.

"The building was challenging because of the unusual shape of the roof, but Freewatt likes a challenge and we're confident that the panels will perform well for the next 25 years."

The Showroom, which has conference and youth activity facilities, was opened in 2011.

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