Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre is the first to go green with major solar panel programme

New solar panels generating more than 360,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy and saving 75 tonnes of carbon a year have been installed at Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle Centre on Fiddler’s Wood Lane.

The panels cover 1,875m2 of the leisure centre’s roof and, in summer, will convert enough daylight/sunlight into electrical energy to power the entire site. This includes electricity for the swimming pool, all the exercise machines, pumps and lighting for the centre, without needing any power from the grid.

The £390,000 investment is shared between Circadian Trust, the charity that runs the centres, and South Gloucestershire Council, which owns the site. Circadian is also investing in a photovoltaic (PV) system at Yate. The programme plays a key part in Circadian’s commitment to become carbon neutral.

Ian Jones, Director of Building and Environment at Circadian Trust, said: “These PVs are a game changer. They’ve been live at Bradley Stoke since January this year and, with the lighter days, we are already seeing a huge difference, with up to £5K a month in energy savings.

“Since 2005, we have had a continuous improvement programme to reduce our carbon footprint. Various initiatives such as LED lighting, new swimming pool covers, and BMS Building Management Systems have made a big difference to both our energy consumption and costs.

“We believe that for us to help our community stay truly healthy, we must also ensure the buildings are in the very best of fitness too. This means reducing waste and pollution and ensuring we can re-invest to keep the facilities in tip top condition.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member responsible for the climate and nature emergency, Councillor Louise Harris, said: “We’re really pleased to work with Circadian on this project and see the solar panel installation at Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle Centre completed, which will boost local renewable energy generation. As well as carrying out projects on our own buildings and land, the council’s aim is to help residents and businesses to play their part in lowering carbon emissions for the benefit of the area.

“We’ve been supporting hundreds of residents to generate renewable energy at home through the group-buying solar panel scheme Solar Together, which along with initiatives such as this, will help put South Gloucestershire in the best possible position to face future challenges together.”

The PV system has been designed, installed and will be maintained by one of the UK’s leading sustainable energy companies and solar panel specialists, Ineco Energy, which was appointed after a competitive tender process.
Ineco Energy Director, Adam Peat, said: “Circadian and South Gloucestershire Council’s commitment to invest in PV across their leisure portfolio demonstrates their serious approach to healthy people, buildings and communities while also supporting their wider 2030 carbon neutral ambitions.

“We have been delighted to be part of this partnership approach to deliver carbon reduction through clean energy and the reinvestment of the financial savings back into the local community.

“Circadian is showing how PV can really help to make a difference to the leisure industry across the UK in their drive to enhance customer experience, deliver a more sustainable operation and reduce their operating costs.”