THE council has started receiving money from the government for selling off excess electricity generated by solar panels on a city multi-storey car park.

Worcester City Council has so far been paid £436 through a government scheme which hands over money for excess electricity generated by renewable energy - such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The money is for the power generated by solar panels on St Martin’s Gate car park.

The national feed-in tariff scheme was scrapped at the end of March putting a stop to new applications, but the city council managed to install the solar panels in the nick of time to start receiving the rewards.

The city council said the solar panels on the City Walls Road car park have been performing better than expected - largely due to the time of year - and has saved the council more than £1,200 so far.

If the solar panels generate the expected savings, the council should have paid off its cost within the next 13 years. The length of time would be cut by two years if the final cost of the solar panels comes in £10,000 cheaper as predicted.

The panels are expected to generate around 41,000kwh a year, which will be used to generate the car park’s 920 lights and four lifts.

The yearly electricity savings for the city council would amount to almost £13,000. The council would also be handed back just under £7,000 in government payments.

A combination of poor weather and protracted discussions between the council, contractors and subcontractors led to fears the March deadline could have been missed. An extra £15,000 was approved by the city council’s police and resources committee back in June 2018 for larger solar panels, pushing the total cost of the project up to £95,000.

Work was expected to start swiftly and the solar panels should have been installed by the end of 2018.

The multi-storey car park is the first council-owned building to have solar panels installed.